Bookcloth Samples: Joanna Arrestox B

What, you aren’t completely bored of looking at old book cloth samples? You want more? You got more.

Joanna Western Mills in Kingsport, TN.

Arrestox B

It conforms to all ANSI standards for Group B! It is vermin-proof! It is moisture resistant! Don’t you wish you had some, right now?

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Bookcloth Sample Books: Columbia Royal Buckram

I acquired some vintage bookcloth samples a few years back.  The person who sold them to me said they were useful as a source of fabric to repair old books, and I hope I didn’t look too horrified. Sure enough, there are some chunks missing out of some of the pieces, but the books still seem very full so I don’t think any pieces are completely gone.

I took photos of the cloths, because I thought you might enjoy looking at them. I photographed the book covers, the front sides of the fabrics showing identification marks, and sometimes the reverse side as well. I didn’t use a very professional setup – OK, I used a most unprofessional setup – the books are lying on two pieces of white kraft paper on a gray cutting mat. I corrected the color cast to get the background paper to look as neutral as I could, then adjusted the levels – mostly on the white side, except for the reverse of some dark samples to make the labels more legible. The pictures were then resized to about 8″ on the longest side at 200 dpi, and saved as jpg files at quality 10. If for some reason anybody needs a bigger or un-retouched photo, let me know. I figure this is good enough for entertainment purposes.

The first series is Columbia Royal Buckram, possibly from 1972

Continue reading to see all the great images of bookcloth you can’t get any more!

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Barnaby gets a spine

I wrapped the book in plastic, and glued the new spine liner with false raised bands (same dimensions as the original remnant) to the plastic. Many steps left undescribed.


Here the book with new hollow, layer of thick paper pasted on and then sanded down to even out the bumps caused by the new reinforcing linen cords. The book was wrapped in plastic, new spine liner and raised bands glued to plastic, new repair calf cut using pattern.


While the dyed leather was drying, I lifted some more of the pastedown, then flattened it out.


Lifted portion folded back over white paper, showing bare board. I put mylar in here before closing the cover, so the underside of the old paper wouldn’t stick to the fly leaf.


Using a sharp knife to cut through the old leather turn in at the edge of the board. When the new spine is put on, it will be pasted underneath this lifted piece, so that the old leather covers up the new. Don’t ask how nerve-wracking it is to cut into beautiful, dry, brittle, gold-tooled leather almost 180 years old. My blood is ice! I OWN this! Plus, the book gods were kind.