Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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leafcasting

A system by which archival papers can be repaired by mechanical means rather than manually. The principal of the method is similar to that of papermaking itself: paper pulp in a water suspension is pulled through areas of loss in a document so as to fill the lacunae with freshly cast paper. Varying combinations of fibers are mixed in amounts proportionate to the missing areas in the leaf to be repaired, and gravity or vacuum pressure pulls the paper slurry through the leaf to be repaired as it lies on a mesh support in the leafcaster. The new fibers settle only in the areas of loss.

For certain kinds of materials. particularly those of large format, e.g., newspapers and maps, leafcasting is a much more efficient and economical method of repair than the traditional manual methods. Its use can also strengthen the entire leaf, as leafcasting not only fills in the holes but also fills cracks, joins fragments, repairs margins and may also be used to provide linings. In contrast to hand repairs, these procedures have the additional advantage of requiring little or no use of adhesives.




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