Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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cloth

A generic term for all of the fabrics employed in bookbinding and conservation. Cloth is made by weaving, felting, knitting, knotting, bonding, or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers and filaments, in various textures, finishes, and weights. It may be plain, filled, coated, or impregnated. Woven cloths, with the exceptions of certain "double warp" cloths, have a warp (the threads that run the length of the cloth over and under the filling), and a filling, also called the weft, running across the grain at right angles to the warp. Both are generally expressed in number of yarns per inch. Since the number of threads in the warp is generally greater than the filling, the strength of a cloth is greater in the direction of the warp (or "grain" of the cloth).

Cloth is made from a wide variety of animal, vegetable, and synthetic fibers. Animal fibers include those obtained from animal hair—e.g., wool—and those obtained from insects, such as silk. Vegetable fibers include vegetable hairs, e.g., cotton; bast fibers from the stems of plants, such as flax, hemp, jute, etc.; and fiber bundles, such as sisal, esparto, straw, etc. The fibers most often used in bookbinding are cotton, flax, and silk. See also: BOOK CLOTH . (52 , 102 , 341 )




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