Volume 53 - Spring 2022


Product & Company News

Commemorative Bookmarks

Beautiful Leather Bookmarks to commemorate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Made by us in a pure aniline vegetable tanned leather, polished, cut and embossed completely by hand.

Are you a business, gift shop, library, museum or organisation? Would you like to add your own artwork and present or sell these lovely bookmarks to your customers, visitors or members?

5% of all proceeds will be donated to QEST, The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.

A choice of silver foil or blind stamped finishes, in either a 'chevron' or 'crescent' shaped tail.

Please contact us on sales@hewit.com or 01506 444160 for pricing information.

Shepherds Historical Printed Marble Papers


An accurate reproduction of period marble papers. These beautiful 12 designs are printed in a manner that faithfully reproduce the soft sheen and gentle patina of the historical papers. The reverse side of each sheet has been printed in a soft, muted tone designed to blend with older text blocks. Primarily intended for use in the rebinding and restoration of older books. They are also ideally suited for film, TV and theatre period prop and model making work, or can be bought for their purely decorative appeal. Size: 50 x 70cm (long-grain) 120gsm.

These beautiful papers may be purchased online by clicking here

World's Best Piper

SFU (Simon Fraser University) Pipe Band Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee captured the 2021 Glenfiddich Piping Championship on October 30 at Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, Scotland with a 2nd in the Piobaireachd event and 3rd in the March, Strathspey & Reel event.

It is Jack's third time winning the Glenfiddich Piping Championship, following his capture of the title in 2003 and 2017. Jack was using a bag made from Hewit's Bagpipe Sheepskin.

It also comes on the 40th anniversary of his first appearance in the Glenfiddich Piping Championship in 1981, as a result of winning the Gold Medal and Silver Star at the Northern Meeting in Inverness that year.

Our warmest congratulations go to Jack.

Type Holders


The ultimate bookbinders' companion, each Finecut Type Holder is an article of matchless quality. Hand crafted in craft brass, each tool features a fine bevelled steel backplate to assure precise alignment of type.

There are 3 sizes in these fully adjustable Type Holders, all of which can hold type from (1.9mm) 8ptup to (13mm) 36pt in height:
2" (50mm) - £90.00 each
3" (75mm) - £97.00 each
4" (100mm) - £102.00 each
Self Centering - £185.00 each


The new Type Holders and other finishing equipment may be ordered Online - Click Here

(subject to shipping charges and VAT where applicable)

Recycling Initiative


Every year countless plastic packets end up in landfill sites across the UK, so that's why we've teamed up with TerraCycle and joined 'The KP Snacks® Nuts, Popcorn, Crisps and Pretzels Packet Recycling Programme'

As of December 2021, we now run a community recycling collection point at our tannery that is open to anyone who wants to do their part in reducing plastic waste. The accepted waste is: crisp, pretzel, popcorn, & nut packets (outer multipack bags included) and can be from any brand. The packets must be empty, and cannot be tied into knots or folded into shapes.

acceptable waste

Once we have collected enough packets, we send them off to TerraCycle who sort, shred, and wash them. They are then densified into plastic granules that can be incorporated into the production of different plastic products, ensuring that the plastic is reused instead of going to landfill. You can learn more about this on their website.

Not only is recycling these packets better for the environment, but for every kilogram we send to TerraCycle we receive a £1 donation to each of our chosen charities! The charities our staff have chosen to support through this are Drum Riding for the Disabled and MacMillan Cancer Support.

If you are wanting to try and live a more sustainable life, then please consider bringing your packets to our collection point. We want this to be as accessible as possible, so have setup a collection bin at our fence that anyone can get to regardless of if we are open or not. We are also working hard to make our building wheelchair accessible, which will allow those who use mobility aids to access our reception bin during working hours.

If you're needing a bit of help finding where we are, then visit our Contact Page.

Our 24 hour collection bin is at the fence near our far gate, located at the What3words address ///reform.grew.tested.


For any queries related to the TerraCycle Recycling Initiative, please contact:

Andrew Barlee
J Hewit & Sons Ltd
12 Nettlehill Road
Houstoun Industrial Estate
Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 5DL

Tel: 01506 444160       Fax: 01506 437749      Email: ab@hewit.com

Society of Bookbinders Journal 2021


Monica Oppen: The Bookbinders as Collaborators
Ann Tomalak: Paper Repairs for Non-conservators
Dominic Riley: Rubricating Mr Morris
Ann Tomalak: Paper Repairs for Non-conservators
An Interview: Fred Pohlmann
Alan Fitch: The Lockdown Project
Barry Clark: William and Will Mellor and the Bookbinding Trades Journal
Tony Bish: How to Set up a Workshop
Members Recent Bindings


Only £18.00

This new journal may be ordered Online - Click Here

(subject to shipping charges where applicable)

Jemma Lewis Printed Marble Papers


There are 14 beautiful traditional and contemporary designs in this range of papers. The papers are printed on 100gsm Munken, known for is tactile and excellent handling qualities. The Munken is FSC Certified and Acid Free. Printed with UV ink the colours are sharper and brighter and better reflect the look and detail of real marbled papers. Paper size is 50 x 70cm (long-grain).

These lovely papers may be purchased online by clicking here

Nepalese Lokta Paper


Lokta paper is soft textured and has beautiful deckled edges. The paper is ideally suited for bookbinding, printmaking, box covering, origami, block printing, scrap-booking, screen printing and reusable wrapping paper. The heavier weights (45 and 60gsm) can also be cut to size and fed through an office printer.

Our handmade Nepalese lokta paper is made from the fibrous inner bark of high elevation lokta bushes. Lokta grows in Nepal's Himalayan forests at elevations between 1600 and 4000m. Cuttings are made from the bush, and the fibrous inner bark is stripped and cooked into a pulpy mash. This mash of fibres is then poured into paper molds, and allowed to dry in the Himalayan sun.

The paper is eco-friendly and naturally acid free. Available in 15gsm, 45gsm and 60gsm weights, with a sheet size 75 x 50cm. Paper weights may vary slightly due to the nature of their manufacture.

The new Lokta papers may be purchased online by clicking here

Hand Made Papers

We have added to and amended our range of hand-made papers from the Paper Foundation. We are now stocking six lovely papers in the range: 'Laid' white, cream and brown and the same shades in 'Wove'. The papers were developed with the guidance of the former papermakers at Griffen Mill and many of Britain's leading bookbinders and paper conservators.


Singles - £10.00/sheet
25 to 49 sheets - £9.17/sheet
50 to 99 sheets - £8.33/sheet
100 to 499 sheets - £7.50/sheet
500+ sheets - £6.67/sheet

These new papers may be purchased online by clicking here

(subject to VAT where applicable)

A Death

Robin Turnbull

We have just heard the sad news that Robbie Turnbull, a previous Director of the Company died in August 2020 aged 92.

Robbie joined the company in February 1962 as the tannery manager. Robbie had no previous experience of leather tanning but had been involved in the bacon trade in Bridge of Allan and had possibly known my father through the Scottish Pigskin Tanners Association. Robbie was initially involved in managing the running of the tannery although he was not involved in the technical side of the business. In those days we had two sites, the City Tan Works on the High Street in Edinburgh and the tannery in Currie with different parts of the process occurring on each site, so a large part of his work was co-ordinating the processing on the two sites.

In 1970 we closed the City Tan Works so there was a huge amount of work in moving from there to Currie whilst still keeping production running. Many of the staff from the City Tan Works moved to Currie and melding the staff from the two premises into one body can have been no easy job. With the closure of the City Tan Works my Father's cousin Russell Ballantine retired and in September 1970 Robbie was elected a director of the Company, a position he held until his retirement in March 1989.

I knew Robbie initially from coming into the tannery in the 1970's as a schoolboy and by that time he had taken over control of the sorting, production and sale of pigskins for leathergoods which was still a major part of our production. In 1979 Stan Scarlet retired from running the London warehouse, and Robbie and Annette moved down to London where they stayed until Robbie's retirement in March 1989. Robbie took over as Sales Director along with managing the staff at 97 St John's Street and then later Prowse Place.

Sadly we no longer have a London premises but Robbie's legacy can be seen in David Lanning, his replacement, who he employed in 1987. Robbie is still remembered fondly by several members of staff in the tannery. He was strict, you certainly did not want to get on his wrong side, but highly respected by everyone.

On his retirement Robbie and Annette moved back up to East Lothian. He always kept an interest in what was happening and used to pop in to Currie occasionally as his dentist was just around the corner.


Skin Deep - Volume 53 - Spring 2022

Download Skin Deep - Volume 53 in PDF Format