~Re-casing a 19th century Cloth Binding Part 1

Re-casing a 19th century cloth binding: Newton's Principia 1846

Part 1

This book has provided a great example of 19th century book-cloth restoration. Newton's Principia 1846 came into my shop with the request to take good care of it. I knew that this meant keeping the original appearance as much as possible while strengthening it so that the new owner would not be scared to open the book and actually read it. These old science books are very collectible and frequently are used to do research.

Become a member to see the actual restoration in a two hour video in two parts.

The lengthy how-to video (in two parts) is my most comprehensive to date. I show every step and the commentary reveals even more potential problems that are avoided.

It demonstrates a basic re-casing of a 19th century book-cloth book with a lot of subtle "niceties" that take it from repair to restoration. Anyone can watch this video and learn a lot about the structure of 19th century cloth books and what needs to be done to protect them.

The video is intended to teach students with little or no equipment. Hopefully the skills would be practised on books of relatively little value before taking on a book of this caliber. Mistakes are part of the learning process and while recovery is possible for many mistakes. Sometimes the cost is not worth the experience. 19th century book-cloth books are known for their extreme fragility.

Part one takes us from the initial discussion of the state of the book through the restoration of the case or cover of the book. This includes using Japanese tissue to strengthen the head and tail area and lifting the inner paste-down edge.

Part two will take us into the restoration of the text-block and the re-integration into the cover or re-casing. This includes repairing the end-bands and creating new hinges.