How to clean-up a Bible


This is a NIV Bible, approx 16 years old, bonded leather binding. Generally the covers are in excellent shape. Spine showing a bit of wear, with a small tear at bottom of spine at back hinge. Text block tight and in tact. Color matching head/end bands and marker ribbon can stay. See pics of bible, spine wear/tear, and separation of text block from front “board.”

  1. Can I use Klucel-G, then SC6000 on bonded leather? Will doing so provide a bit of protection for those abrasions down the spine and front board?
  2. As shown, the text block is in good shape. There is NO evidence of mull of any type. It has broken away from front “board”(cardboard, at best), but still attached at back board. I hesitate to “recase”, adding mull that would only serve to attach to board again. It is a thinline, so it is designed to be “thin” and flexible. I am inclined to reinforce front and back with a tiny bit of Japanese tissue and glue again. In pic 3# the “white” strip running the length of book is what was glued down to front “board” and holding it together. Thoughts?
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    Posted by (Questions: 37, Answers: 25)
    Asked on October 29, 2021 4:55 pm
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    You could use Klucel and SC6000 (It will do no harm) but this is not "real" leather so there is no strength in it and it will break because of poor ingredients eventually no matter what. It cannot get red rot. PVA works pretty well to repair this sort of crack but ultimately the cover will need to be replaced.

    The flappy "white strip" is part of the text-spine liner for this book. Mull is simply one type of liner for the text-spine of a book that extends outward on each side in order to be glued to the boards.

    If you are not making a new cover,  I would Re-case the book because opening it up / separating the two parts will facilitate strengthening the cover cracks from the inside. Just make sure the text will fit back in the cover! It is possible that you don't have to break the hinge that is unbroken but you can peel back the paste-down to work on the spines.

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    Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 229)
    Answered on October 30, 2021 10:01 am