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[BKARTS] non-flattness in leather covers



Hi Don... Hope that MouseLand was fun for you!
Ultimately you want the boards of the book to be absolutely flat; this offers the most support to the text block and minimum strain to the joints.
But because it can take a very long time for the moisture absorbed by the boards during binding to evaporate away and because this evaporation will largely occur from the outside (books spend most of their life with boards closed) and because this drying out can cause the boards to bow out at the foredge (go concave) one is taught to leave the boards slightly convex (center of board bowed slightly out) at the finish of binding to counteract this tendency. Judging the amount of bow correctly is one of the niceties of the process and is controlled through inner linings and the treatment of the leather cover.
One normally chooses a very dense and rigid board for full leather binding; one of the reasons is to minimize warping. Also the boards are lined both sides with a good quality paper and allowed to cure for several months, minimally, before use. This also contributes to a more rigid and stable board.
I don't bind differently for clients in different locals. What guarantee would one ever have that conditions there would remain such and such, much less that the book remain there? What I do (and I think most craftsmen also) is to provide an accurately made and securely closed box to house the book. This box will exert sufficient pressure to hold the boards flat and the binding is allowed to go on curing over a very long time. The box also ameliorates any changes in temperature or humidity from the outside world. My preference is for a clamshell though I do have many clients who prefer a chemise and slipcase.
Best, James


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