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ISLAMIC BOOKBINDING II

ISLAMIC BOOKBINDING II

Bookblock; bone folder; non-plasticized pH-neutral EVA glue for expediency (traditionally would have used rabbit skin glue or a plant-based root glue such as asfodel, similar to tapioca starch, which survives centuries!); cutting cardboard to size for the cover with a slight overhang; cutting leather for the cover; skiving the goatskin leather. Goatskin is the leather of choice for traditional bookbinding as it is finer than calfskin.

Skiving the leather involves taking a shallow bevel off the leather by hand using a special flat rectangular or scythe-crescent shaped tool. It’s best to handmake one’s own tools for these, to fit into one’s own hand snugly for maximum control, so that is for another time.  Skiving the leather is a difficult skill which requires practice; I couldn’t do it the first time and the second time I still couldn’t do it, although I got 1% better… implying that after 100 times I will be able to do it!

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