The client wished to retain the gilt calf paste-downs if possible to include them within the new binding. To do so it meant removing them from the existing limp cover so I could mount them to new sheets of paper.
The leather of the limp calf cover had started to degrade, so I removed it by peeling it back carefully from the reverse of the paste-down. I was then able to sand the surface using a fine sandpaper.
Once sanded the paste-downs were mounted to a bi-folded sheet of paper and sewn to the textblock as an additional section on the front and the back. I wrapped a bi-folded strip of paper to this new section as a guard, the other side of which (as visible in the below photograph) was then tipped onto the endpaper section once that had been sewn to the textblock.
The sections were all then sewn together onto four tapes.
Once all the sections were sewn together, with the endpapers added on at either end, the spine of the book was glued up in-between the tapes with PVA glue and left to dry.
I then rounded and backed the book, and lined the spine attaching a one-on, two-off hollow and then sanded the top edge flush. I wanted to add some edge decoration and did so using watered down acrylic paints. I first applied a thin layer of dark green to match the paper I had used to mount the new paste-downs onto. I further built up the colour by dabbing on small amounts of white, peach and green paints on top to create an abstract pattern in colours to match the binding.
The foredge and bottom edge were left deckled so I did not need to apply edge decoration to them. The next stage was then to sew the endbands. I selected colours that I thought would work well on the binding.
I then created double core endbands using a mixture of these coloured endband threads. The larger core was made from a lamination of leather and a thin strip of vellum. The vellum side was paced pointing towards the top edge of the binding to try and keep a crisp edge where the endband silks wrapped over it. The smaller core was made by stiffening some linen sewing thread with PVA glue and letting it dry out.
The boards were then laced on and bevelled. The covering leather was pared in preparation for the next stage of the binding process.
The next post details how the leather onlays and embroiderd elements were added to the covering leather to build up the design.