Very little if anything is known of the method or methods used by binders to reduce thickness in the early days of covering books with leather, but it is entirely possible that from about the latter part of the 16th century they purchased leather from the manufacturer in the required thickness and then simply pared the edges.
During the 19th century there were no paring machines in use in binderies, nor were there any spokeshaves. There is no evidence of any paring of leather other than edges during the first half of the 19th century; consequently it must be assumed that the leather was purchased already pared, or was purchased and then sent out to be pared as required. (161 , 236 , 335 )
Timestamp: Saturday, 19-Nov-2011 13:18:43 PST
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