Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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strawboard

A coarse, yellowish board produced largely from straw pulp. Strawboard lacks the mechanical strength to be used as the boards of a book; however, as the bending of a material results in the maximum stretching and compression at the outer surfaces, if the surface of the board could be stiffened the entire board would then become more rigid. The additional rigidity may be obtained by pasting a hard, tough paper on both sides of the board, thus producing a board that is lightweight and stiff, free from excessive lamination, and relatively easy to produce. Vellum tips could also be used to strengthen the board at the corners in some instances.

While not as strong mechanically as millboard, strawboard is much less laminated and is therefore less likely to split or open out when handled. If its weakness to bending stresses could be improved, as described above, it would actually be preferable to millboard for use in bookbinding. In addition, it has been demonstrated that strawboard is less likely to form sulfuric acid because it contains a lower percentage of iron impurities than does millboard, and it is alkaline, which in itself promotes greater permanence.

The use of strawboard in bookbinding was unknown until about the middle of the 18th century, and its use has never been extensive. (58 , 198 , 236 )




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