Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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silk

The elastic, hygroscopic protein fiber produced by the larvae of many species of moth of the natural order Lepidoptera the most important of these being the Bombyx moths, and especially Bombyx mori (the silkworm or mulberry worm). Raw silk threads consist principally of sericin and fibroin, which are proteins containing carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen but not sulfur. Silk is widely used in spinning thread and weaving fabrics, and is used in bookbinding for sewing, for doublures, for covering books (generally embroidered bindings), and in the repair of torn leaves, etc. Silk as a covering material is somewhat extravagant, particularly since books covered with it usually must have boxes to protect them, as it does not wear well and is particularly susceptible to deterioration in natural light. Silk used for doublures, however, is protected from the deteriorative effects of light and air and often out-lasts the covers. See also: JAPANESE SILK ;MOIRÉ BOOK CLOTH ;SEWING THREAD ;SILK GAUZE ;SILKING ;SILK-SCREEN PRINTING :SILK-SCREEN PRINTS ;WATERED SILK .

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