A Description of a Few of Our Techniques:
PAPER REPAIR: For tattered and torn pages, Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding repairs the damaged areas using a variety of oriental tissues adhered with wheat starch paste or through the use of a heat-activated adhesive. These methods of paper repair are typical of those currently in use by book and paper conservation facilities throughout the world. The advantage of these styles of repair are twofold: the repairs can be easily reversed should the need arise, while at the same time the repairs are amazingly strong and durable due to the long fibers present in oriental papers.
RESEWING: Linen thread is used in resewing volumes, because it is strong and resistant to dry-rot. We generally advocate resewing in the manner in which the book was originally sewn.
REBACKING: This is the process whereby new material (leather for leather bindings, cloth for cloth bindings) is brought in under the original materials while saving as much of the original binding as possible. The goal of the restoration process is to make the new work blend in as closely as possible with the reused portions of the original cover.
EXCERPTS FROM NOTES ACCOMPANYING BOOKS IN OUR SHOP FOR RESTORATION
"...so can you please restore my "Old Joy"--It is the only cookbook I can really cook from, and I've had it the 47 years I've been married..."
"...it's from 1862...my
great - great grandfather was a soldier in the Civil War and
REPRODUCTION BINDING: Sometimes the original binding is too badly deteriorated to be incorporated into the restoration process, or perhaps the original binding is missing entirely. In such cases, it may be suitable to design a cover in keeping with what was on the book originally or what is believed to be a reasonable approximation for a missing binding.
TAPE REMOVAL: When a book has had tape applied to its cover or pages, not only can the tape be very damaging to the book, but it gets in the way of the restoration work as well. Tape removal from the outside of the cover or from the text pages is done with the careful application of heat or by using mild solvents to soften the adhesive so it can be removed without further damage to the volume.
CORNER REPAIR: To repair damaged corners on covers, wheat starch paste is injected into each affected corner. The paste softens the corners so they can be reshaped and when the paste dries it offers new stability to the weakened corner areas. If needed, any missing material at the corners is replacing during the treatment.
HUMIIFYING & FLATTENING: When the pages of books have been crumpled or creased, it is often possible to flatten them successfully through the use of gentle himidification of the affected areas. The humidified areas are dried between blotters under gentle pressure to make the repair complete.