Stone Glossary

A salt used in papermaking and in the Tawing of skins. Doublure An ornamental inside lining of a book cover, which takes the place of the regular pastedown and flyleaf. It is usually of leather or (watered) silk, generally with a leather hinge and is often very elaborately decorated. The typical doublure consists of a silk flyleaf and a leather board covering, but sometimes both board covering and flyleaf are of silk; rarely, both are of leather. Foredge The edge of a book opposite the spine. Sometimes called 'front edge'. Head band & tail band The functional and/or ornamental band at the head and tail of a book between the sections and the spine covering, which projects slightly beyond the head and tail. Originally, the head band consisted of a thong core, similar to the bands on which the book was sewn, around which the ends of the threads were twisted and then laced into the boards of the book. Today, however, the head band is much simpler and is usually made of colored silk sewn to the book or simply attached after the volume has been forwarded.

A piece of leather, of the same thickness as the leather covering of a book, but usually of a contrasting colour, grain, or both, cut to a desired shape for placing into the leather covering, from which a piece of the exact same size and shape has been removed.

A method of decorating a leather binding by means of thin, variously coloured pieces of leather, usually of a different color than the covering leather, which are attached by means of paste or pva to the surface of the covering leather, thus giving it a kind of mosaic effect.

An ancient process of treating prepared hide or skin (usually pigskin or goatskin) with aluminum salts and (usually) other materials, such as egg yolk, flour, salt, etc. The process renders the skin soft and warm to handle; the tawed skins have a high degree of stretch. Handle and stretch may also be improved by the addition of egg yolk and flour to the basic alum and salt solution. A tawed skin is usually white in colour but may yellow slightly with age.


Source: Matt T. Roberts and Don Etherington
Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, Washington, 1982


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