Volume 19 - Spring 2005


Product & Company News

Ready Prepared Book Blocks

Following numerous requests from our customers, we are pleased to bring you a selection of book-blocks which are supplied ready for binding.

To start with, there will be four variations available and depending on their popularity, other sizes may be added later. The initial four sizes are:

Classic Photograph Album - Small
205mm x 150mm (8" x 6")
30 leaves acid free pages per block, interleaved with glassine page protectors @ £3.56 each

Classic Photograph Album - Medium
320mm x 310mm (12.50" x 12.25")
40 leaves acid-free pages per block, interleaved with glassine page protectors @ £7.74 each

Journal/Note Book Block
A5 Portrait (6" x 8")
Un-ruled Acid-free Cream Pages @ £4.08 each

Address Book Block
A5 Landscape (8" x 6")
With laminated tabs, Cream Pages, supplied sewn and ready to bind @ £4.06 each.

(subject to shipping charges and VAT where applicable)

New Repair Calf now available

Our new Repair Calf is sourced from the Indian subcontinent. The leather is initially tanned at source using mimosa, or materials from the same family of tannins. When the skins arrive in our Edinburgh Tannery, we remove the majority of this original tannage and then re-tan, using Tara or Sumac. In addition to improving the leather with these superior tannages, we also add our Archival tannage, yielding leather that is both durable and a pleasure to use.

These skins are produced in a mixture of whole skins or 'sides' (half skins taken from much larger whole skins). Average Skin Size: 0.80 - 1.0m (8 - 10.75 ft), yielding an approximate cut size of 80 x 50 cm. They are finished to a standard substance of 0.75mm and are available in a range of 8 shades plus natural undyed (biscuit)in three grades II, III and IV

R1 R2 R3 R4 R5
R6 R7 R8 R9
Book Society of Bookbinders Journal 2004 - Volume 18


Only £18.00 + shipping







(subject to shipping charges where applicable)





Designer Bookbinders Competition

As in previous years, the 2004 Designer Bookbinder Competition produced many wonderful fine bindings. We are delighted to announce that this year, the J. Hewit & Son prize for 'The Interesting Treatment of Leather' was awarded to Dominic Riley. The prize was well deserved for his binding of 'Alice's Adventure in Wonderland', published by The Tern Press. This is an excellent 'two-in-a-row' for Dominic who also won this prize last year for his binding of 'Silk Road' by Frances Wood, published by The Folio Society.

Our warm congratulations go to Dominic.








Paring MachineLeather Paring Machine

The P&S Leather Paring Machine is based on the tried and tested Brockman design. It is simple to set up and operate. The leather is pulled between the anvil and fixed blade. By raising the anvil, thin cuts can be taken until the required thickness is achieved. It is an invaluable tool for quickly preparing inlays, onlays, labels and thin leather pieces for repairs or half and quarter bindings. The machine has a large throat area to accommodate the pared leather when preparing larger pieces for full leather bindings. The anvil can also be adjusted to produce a feathered edge if required. The Machine is sold with a pack of blades.

Paring Machine - £228.00
Spare Blades - £2.10 per pack of 10


(subject to shipping charges and VAT where applicable)




Basic Bookbinding

Basic BookbindingBy A.W. Lewis. Re-published by Dover - Paperback from the 1952 Edition. 144 pages, 261 black & white illustrations. 13.5cm x 20.5cm

Starting from basic principles and assuming no previous experience, this modern exposition of the elements of bookbinding enables both the beginner and the expert to apply the latest and most simplified techniques to rebinding old favourites and binding many new paperback books.

A complete list of all necessary materials, including a guide to the proper selection of tools, paper, glue, boards, cloth and leather covering fabrics and lettering inks and pigments, introduces the subject. In surprisingly easy stages, you are shown how to collate a book, sew it, back it, trim it, make boards and attach them to the book. Step-by-step instructions and hundreds of photographs and diagrams of equipment and key operations reduce the process to essentials.

Individual chapters are devoted to single-sectioned, multi-sectioned and case-bound books, hollow-backed and library style binding, the use of end papers and the most practical methods of lettering the finished book. The author includes a valuable appendix which summaries the precise steps followed in each operation in convenient tabular form.

This elementary text is simple enough for the beginner yet contains new material of interest to the expert. Basic Bookbinding avoids intricate techniques and elaborate equipment. Mr. Lewis, twice first prize-winner in national competition, presents the Subject with the clarity born of many years of experience in teaching bookbinding.

Only £6.95

(subject to shipping charges where applicable)


Hand BookbindingHand Bookbinding, A Manual of Instruction

By Aldren A. Watson. Published by Dover - Paperback 160 pages, 273 black & white illustrations.

Before the advent of modern mass-production methods, books were bound by hand to remarkably high standards of quality. Beautiful and durable, they appealed to book lovers who appreciated not only a book's content but also the quality and craftsmanship of its binding.

Unfortunately, the introduction of machine-binding methods, while making books widely available at reasonable prices, also largely curtailed the art and craft of making fine books by hand.

This expert guide offers a solution. In its pages, craftspeople can learn the traditional methods of bookbinding and produce high-quality hand-bound books themselves. Thorough, detailed instructions, with over 270 helpful illustrations by the author, cover materials, tools and equipment (including making your own); fundamental procedures and technical methods; rebinding an old book; making a slipcase and other essentials. Also included are well illustrated, step-by-step directions for eight binding projects: dust jacket; blank book, single signature; folio; blank book, four signatures; manuscript binding; music binding and two more.

Clearly written and easy to follow, this manual will be indispensable to anyone wishing to create high-quality handcrafted bindings themselves; it will also serve as a valuable reference for students and professionals in publishing and its allied trades.

Only £11.95

(subject to shipping charges where applicable)

Bangladeshi Vegetable Calf

We are very pleased to bring you this new leather as a cheaper alternative to our normal Bookcalf. It should be noted that there are several drawbacks over the Scandinavian Bookcalf that relate to the leather's original tannage. This leather is initially tanned using mimosa, or a similar non-lightfast material. Although we remove this original tannage as best we can from the skins and then re-tan using Tara or Sumac, the leather will never have the lightfastness or ageing properties normally expected from our Bookcalf.

Further information on the differences between the types of vegetable tannage please refer to our articles in Skin Deep "The Manufacture of Leather" parts 4 & 7 by clicking here.

In addition to the ageing and lightfastness issues, the skins are sourced from many different tanneries in Bangladesh therefore there will be some variation in colour within and between packs. This leather will be available in 4 colours, Antique Brown, (similar to Colour 1), Mid-Brown (similar to Repair Calf R4), Light Tan (similar to Repair Calf R6) and Natural (similar to fair). The leather will be available as sides (half skins) with an area of approximately 0.8 sq.M. and a substance of 0.8mm. Rectangular size approximately 80cms x 50cms. The BV Calf will be sold in run selection only, generally equivalent to grade II. Prices are as follows:

1-3 skins
4-9 skins
10-23 skins
24-119 skins
120+ skins
Un-Dyed- Natural
69.60 per metre
63.08 per metre
52.20 per metre
47.85 per metre
43.50 per metre
Dyed Aniline
78.40 per metre
71.05 per metre
58.80 per metre
53.90 per metre
49.00 per metre

(Prices are subject to shipping and VAT @ 17.5% where applicable)


Skin Deep - Volume 19 - Spring 2005

Download Skin Deep - Volume 19 in PDF Format