Aged Threads versus Tome


The thread on bio mother’s 1976 Strong’s concordance is failing and getting worse the more I use it (use it fairly regularly). I see no cloth tape helping with support, the thread itself is almost finer than fine sewing thread (taught myself to sew), as someone raised by an engineer, seems insufficient for such a large book. Am I over thinking this?

If so, how would one attach the loose signature back to the text block?

If not over thinking, any suggestion(s) on thread?

Would you repair the end sheets or replace, knowing know fly sheets?

If helps any, like to keep this book in working order for many years, doesn’t have to be pretty, just stable. Partly as the cover being chewed by the first foster puppy is part of its history. 😉

Thanks in advance.

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User Avatar Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 0)
Asked on November 4, 2023 6:24 pm
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Hi there. I like to keep everything as original as possible. You could replace just the fly-leaf and hinge it under (or over) the paste-down that exists. But this is also an aesthetic question for a book of mostly sentimental value so you could go with new end-papers if you like. However, be aware that as you glue more layers of paper to the board, you will increase the pull and the board may start to warp in a concave manner away from the text. Or convex looking the other way.

As for the threads, I demonstrate some sewing repair in one of the courses. I believe you could extrapolate what is needed for your book from this. This course may also help.

It is nearly impossible to repair sewing with the text-block still in the cover because the needle has to go through the spine.



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User Avatar Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 276)
Answered on November 6, 2023 11:46 am
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    Adding a few pics will make understanding this situation a bit easier. Generally, big, thick books rarely seem to have enough "infrastructure" to support frequent usage.  However, it does sound like the text block and case need to be separated. Once that is done it will be easier to see what needs to be repaired and perhaps resewn. Thread type, I'm guessing, needs to be relatively fine to avoid adding much swell to spine. So separate case from text block; consider very thin muslin, or mull (or even Japanese tissue) across spine with enough to eventually go onto endsheets.  If there are loose signatures near center, best to repair first. Then, a layer of PVA on spine, then spine lining will help solidify much of the spine. Signatures near either end of text block can get some tissue reinforcing, as needed, then sewn back into place by sewing through the signature AND the newly placed liner. Unless the existing endsheets on the boards are literally falling off, I would favor new endsheets, a bit heavier than the text sheet but not so heavy as to create a "fat" text block to re case. Tip on new endsheets to text block, let dry, then recase by gluing the endsheets (with the extended spine liner) to the existing endsheets/boards. Not a trivial, but heavy books typical of things like a concordance need all the extra help they can get.

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    User Avatar Posted by (Questions: 42, Answers: 28)
    Answered on November 6, 2023 11:55 am