Volume 9 - Spring 2000


Letters & Feedback

Tree Marbling

Tree Marbling differs from tree calf (see Skin Deep Issue No.3 - Spring 1997) in that the skin of the leather is stained off the book. The procedure is very similar, the chemical reaction is the same, and the control of water flow determines the pattern achieved.

As an apprentice with W.T. Morrells, who were at that time the only bookbinding company offering both tree calf and marbled skins, I had the opportunity to see both the books and the skins stained, although at that time I had not attempted the process. I only became interested in the process at a much later date. All of the marbled skins that were processed at that time were from J. Hewit & Sons Ltd., but as fashion and conservation awareness changed, the demand for the treated skins declined. I still believe that there is a place for this unmistakable style and the thought of acid being placed on a book cover does not shock me as much as other bookbinders/conservators that I have met. There are still many examples of tree calf bindings that are over one hundred years old, so there is room to debate the process.

Equipment Required

  • Frame with adjustable rods
  • Albumen Glaire
  • Ferrous Sulphate
  • Large Brush
  • SpongeBucket
  • Hydrated Potassium Carbonate (salts of tartar)
  • Paste
  • Knocking Stick
  • Birch or Willow Twigs

Terry Buckley - Cambridge

Bookbinding Workshops

Bex Marriot recently wrote to us with information on a number of bookbinding workshops that she will be running this year, from premises in Lewes, East Sussex, UK. Details are as follows:

  • Concertina Bookbinding - Saturday 11th November
  • Coptic Binding - Saturday 30th September
  • Soft Cover Paper Binding - Saturday 14th October
  • Japanese Binding - Saturday 28th October
  • Limp Vellum Binding - Saturday 11th November

Further details are available from Bex at:

Bex Marriot
1, Spring Cottages
Moor Lane
Ringmer Lewes,
East Sussex, BN8 5UP
Tel: +44 (0) 1273 814127


Skin Deep - Volume 9 - Spring 2000

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