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[BKARTS] Buckram for library book repair

(Please excuse any cross posting)

I'm the bindery coordinator in a mid-sized academic library.  We
perform simple book repair, up to casing in with new endsheets.  I'm
coming to the end of my inherited stock of buckram of unknown
provenance, and thinking about what buckram or other material I should

My basic quandary is this.  I know that the heavy weight buckram used
by commercial binders is available and it's tough stuff.  However, since
book repair takes a back seat to bindery prep around here, you have to
be a bit motivated to get to the repairs.  F-grade buckram is not going
to help with the motivation; despite its good properties it's also not
aesthetically pleasing and looks difficult to work with.  The thickness
of the fabric makes it unattractive for spine repairs where it will be
obvious underneath the lifted fabric of the original binding.

So, I'd like to get the expert opinion on this - could I get away with
using a lower-weight buckram like the Joanna (English finish) buckram
offered by Talas?  The samples look pretty similar to the old buckram
we've been using.   If there are other alternatives please let me know.

I have the Talas Canapetta sample too, and although attractive, the
fabric seems a little too nubby for library repairs - I imagine it would
be prone to fraying and to rubbing the bindings of adjacent books on the

Diane Westerfield, Bindery/Preservation Coordinator
Loyola University Chicago, Cudahy Library Bindery


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