Repairing a Book on Exotic Fish

Before Christmas, I repaired this book on exotic fish!


The cover boards had fallen off the block (which was loose with snapped sewing in places). The spine was tearing away from the cover boards as well. I started by removing the block completely and examining the end pages. The client was anxious to preserve them, so I wanted to see what had to be done.





Although the paper was brittle, I was able to lift the end pages off the cover boards, clean off the old super and reinforce them.



I turned my attention to the block. The old glue and thread had to come off. I carefully snipped out the sewing from the signatures. The glue was very brittle and fell off with very little pressure.





Once the signatures were clean, I began resewing them.



I wanted to make sure the block could be taken apart to repair some pages I found which had cellophane tape on them. Unfortunately I’m not confident enough to remove the tape. So I backed the block with water reversible PVA to ensure a quick removal if the client wanted it repaired further in the future.



I used linen instead of super to strengthen the spine a bit. The client had told me they wanted their grandson to use the book, so I tried to give it some extra reinforcement. Then I turned my attention to the cover.



The spine piece was tearing away and needed to be replaced. I wanted to preserve the original look of the book, so I removed the old paper and designed a new spine piece to sit under the old one.



I wanted to match the color of the fabric to disguise the new spine as seamlessly as possible. The old spine piece was separated pretty badly from the back cover. I removed it completely to thread the new spine piece under the fabric of the back cover.



I first put the covers onto the block, pushing the new linen under the repaired end pages.



Here is the new spine piece under the old.


Then I threaded the new spine piece under the fabric of the back cover, and pressed! I think it turned out very nicely!




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