The first two rows of pictures show the steps in giving your book a new leather cover. If it is intact, I like to retain the integrity of the structure, and use the original cover still attached to the book. If need be, I strip off the old materials and resurface the cover before adding raised bands if required, and leather.
However, if the book is detatched from the cover or pages are coming loose in the front or back of your book, the cover is removed. If it needs to be completely restitched, and is less than 150 pages, I side-stitch it by hand and add endpapers. If it is too thick to be stitched by hand, the whole text block is "oversewn" by machine before I attach the new leather casing.
This requires special equipment at a local commercial bindery. Then I add new headbands and "super" (a porous cloth like cheesecloth, sometimes called "crash") to adhere the newly stitched spine to the new endpapers in order to securely attach the book to its covers. If you've ever seen the a very old book that has come out of its covers, you'll see this super covered with some kind of paper to keep the spine away from the "hollow back" cover. Sometimes this paper is fascinating, since the old binders used anything at hand. You often find old newspapers with parts of articles still legible! Headbands are woven loops of thread added to the top and bottom (head and foot) of the book to protect the text block from getting damaged at the spine. They used to be hand woven, sometimes from exotic colored silk and gold threads, intricate and quite beautiful. Now we can get it machine made, ready to glue on. Just a little bookbinding lore!
Besides sending a book to be bound in leather, you can also send papers to be transformed into a book. The fourth and fifth rows of pictures show stitching and assembling papers into a book, and some of the additions that can be made to your book.
To order, use our secure online shopping cart system or call 413 422-1059 with credit card number, and item name and price; add $5.50 plus $2 per book for shipping. Be sure to include your shipping address. Or send a check or money order to:
Old Leather Books
90 Mountain Rd.
Erving, MA 01344