Repair a Frayed Book Spine: Head and Tail
How to repair a frayed book spine: head and tail with a reversible preservation method. Many times a book-cloth spine will start to get frayed at the head and tail area before the hinges break. The head and tail are the bookbinding terms for the top and bottom of a book respectively. For more information on book terminology see 1-109: Book Anatomy . Because the book hinges are not yet broken we have a chance to do a simple preservation repair so that the deterioration of the spine is controlled until a restoration is really needed at a later date. In the video I even show how you can remove this temporary fix.
This repair is not ideal for leather books for several reasons. One is that the moisture will soak into damaged leather and is likely to damage it. Another reason is that paste will not stick to undamaged leather surfaces so it can’t be reversible.
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Included in The Lesson:
- Type of Book: Case-bound, French-groove, Starch-filled Book-cloth, 20th Century
- This Particular Book: Tarzan the Terrible by Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1921
- Issue: Head and Tail of Spine are Frayed
- Treatment: Quick Preservation Repair (sort of like a fancy band-aid)
- 17 Minutes of Video
- Step by Step Instructions
Tools and Materials Needed
- Kozo tissues
- Archival Paste and Brush
- Colored Pencils
- Covered Bricks or Book press. Here is a Backing Press you could buy new. They are not cheap so really only get one if this is your new long term hobby!
PERPETUAL CAVEAT: Never repair rare and/or scarce books. When in doubt only do preservation treatments and consult an accredited professional.
Repair a Frayed Book Spine: Simplified Steps:
- Gather materials and tools
- Choose colors
- Apply tissue with paste