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Re: [BKARTS] bookcloth / Ikegami

I frequently back cloth to make book cloth and teach it in my binding classes as well. I use the instructions that are in the Ikegami book as well as information gleaned from a Nell Meldahl workshop. I always use a non porous, inert material such as formica covered board or thick plexiglass. I've never had concerns about the material drying from both sides. I would not use MDF unless you waterproofed it with a resin. My concerns would be contamination from the tannins and chemicals used to make particle board.

Also, in my experience, particle board on its own is very susceptible to moisture and when wet the surface will become lumpy. It's important to use something rigid enough to resist bending during the tension drying process. Lightweight plexi or unbacked formica will be too flexible.

With my students I use sink cutouts that I obtained from a kithchen remodelling firm. I work with 2 to 3 pieces of formica board or a combination of board and counter space. The ease of using the board is that you can work horizontally and then stand it up vertically so that it doesn't take up much studio space. I always clean up the paste when finished, leaving a clean surface.

Erin Vigneau Dimick

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