Definitions are from the Etherington and Roberts Bookbinders Dictionary and Johnson & Middleton Bookbinders Dictionary.
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acanthus - The name given a leaf of the acanthus plant (Acanthus spinosus) introduced as ornamentation in ancient Greek architecture. It has been applied in various modified forms in succeeding styles of architecture. In bookbinding, the acanthus ornamentation is a typical impression of the finishing tool cut to represent two such leaves pointing in different directions. The acanthus decoration was also used as a decorative motif by illuminators of manuscripts, especially Carolingian artists of the 9th century.
acid-free paper - In principle, papers which contain no free acid and have a pH value of 7.0 or greater. In practice, papermakers consider a paper having a pH value of 6.0 or greater to be acid free. Such papers may be produced from cotton fibers, rags, esparto, jute, chemical wood pulps, or virtually any other fiber, with special precautions being taken during manufacture to eliminate any active acid that might be present in the paper pulp. However free of acid the paper may be immediately after manufacture, the presence of residual chlorine from bleaching operations, aluminum sulfate (alum) from sizing, or sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere, may lead to the formation of hydrochloric or sulfuric acid unless the paper has been buffered with a substance capable of neutralizing acids.
acid migration - The transfer of acid from a material containing acid to one containing less or no acid. This may occur either when the two materials are in contact with each other, or by vapor transfer from one material to nearby materials not actually in contact with it. Boards, endpapers, and protective tissues, as well as the paper covers of books and pamphlets, may contain acid and transfer it to otherwise low-acid or acid-free paper of the text.
aniline dyes - A class of synthetic, organic dyes originally obtained from aniline (coal tars), which were, in fact, the first synthetic dyes. Today the term is used with reference to any synthetic organic dyes and pigments, regardless of source, in contrast to animal or vegetable coloring materials, natural earth pigments, and synthetic inorganic pigments. Aniline dyes are classified according to their degree of brightness or their light fastness.
arabesque - A relatively old form of book decoration, revived by French gilders and reintroduced into England in about 1829. It consists of interlaced lines and convoluted curves arranged in a more or less geometrical pattern. The name derives from the fact that it was brought to its highest perfection by Near Eastern artists. The term is also used to describe a style of ornamentation in relief, consisting of fanciful human or animal figures combined with floral forms. Arabesque is also sometimes inappropriately applied to the embossed designs on book covers.
aureole - A light or luminous area surrounding the blind impressions of a book cover; it is caused by the leather not being wetted all over, but only on the areas being tooled.
blind tooling / stamping - Making a dark impression in leather, by impressing either a hot finishing tool into it, or a cold tool that has first been dabbed in printer's ink.
buckram - A strong and expensive book cloth made from cotton or linen, usually the former, and closely woven, occasionally with a double warp. It is filled or coated and calendered to give it a smooth finish which blocks well and is reasonably durable. Originally, the term applied only to a starch-filled fabric; today, however, it applies also to coated and impregnated fabrics having a heavy base. The material used to fill the interstices and/or cover the base fabric is usually pyroxylin, but it may be starch, china clay, clay, or other non-fibrous material.
calendered - Paper polished to a high glaze by pressure or friction from calendering rollers.
cheverelle - A goatskin parchment that has been converted into a supple and strong leather with the characteristic bold grain pattern. It proved to be an exceptionally durable bookbinding leather. The conversion was effected by a simultaneous tannage using alum and oil, followed by intensive fatliquoring and staking. Cheverell was used in England, France and Italy during the 13th to 15th centuries.
colophon - 1. In old books, an inscription at the beginning or end of a book, often including the printer's name a details of production. 2. In modern books, the publisher's device.
crushed Levant or crushed Morocco - A Morocco leather that has had its grain surface crushed to the extent that it is smooth. Crushing of this nature is done before the leather is attached to the book. The characteristic high polish is applied subsequent to binding. Although a certain effect is attained by this process, to a great extent it defeats the original purpose of using morocco leather, i.e., its beautiful grain pattern.
deckle edge - The conspicuous broken edge on handmade paper, caused by the fibres creeping between the deckle frame and the sieve during manufacture.
dentelle - An 18th century style of hook decoration, usually in gold, consisting of a combination of elliptical scrolls of slightly shaded leafy character joined to clusters and hoarders of great richness, resembling lace, and pointing toward the center of the cover. Antoine Michel Padeloup has often been credited with the introduction of the dentelle style, which actually took its inspiration from embroidery and the decorative arts rather than lace. Of the many binders who used this technique, the most notable were the Deromes and Pierre-Paul Dubuisson.
doublure - An ornamental inside lining of a book cover, which takes the place of the regular pastedown and fly leaf. 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 fly leaf and a leather board covering, but sometimes both board covering and fly leaf are of silk; rarely, both are of leather. In a strict sense, however, the term refers only to leather linings. The doublure was known in Turkey at least as early as the 14th century, but the earliest known European doublures are a binding of about 1550 in the British Museum. Their use was revived in the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), but they were not used very extensively until about 1750, after which they became very popular. Doublures have been used continuously since that time--more so in France, where they have always been more popular than elsewhere. The word itself is French, meaning "lining" or "doubling of material." Also called "ornamental inside lining." 2. In a very general sense, an ornamental endpaper.
embossing - 1. The process of raising a surface pattern on leather by means of engraved cylinders or plates, generally employing both heat and pressure. The patterns produced are often simulations of the grain patterns of some animal skins but may also be unrelated to any natural pattern. One roller or plate, in which the design is engraved, is made of steel, while the other, having a softer surface, is made of cotton or papier-mâché. The leather is embossed by passing it over a heated, steel cylinder, thermostatically controlled at a pre-set temperature, or in a press, of which there are two basic types: one in which the pressure is applied by a roller mounted on a moving carriage, and another in which pressure is applied to the platen by mechanical or hydraulic means, but without any lateral movement. In both cases the leather is pressed against a heated plate which is either smooth and polished so that the leather is ironed, or engraved to impart an artificial grain pattern. While the latter type of press is designed to employ heavier pressures, the first type is superior in that the movement of the roller causes a small amount of slip, which imparts a more lively character to the leather. On the other hand, the advantage of the mechanical or hydraulic press is that it can dwell at full pressure, which is desirable for producing deep effects in some embossing processes. It is important that the design embossed in the leather be as permanent as possible. In this regard both the structure of the skin and the type of tannage are important. A very full and tight structure is required. Calfskin gives the ideal structure for the finer leathers and cowhide for the coarser. Vegetable tannage is far superior to chrome because it builds up the fibers to a much greater extent and makes the structure correspondingly tighter. Embossing of leather is sometimes (and perhaps frequently) a means of simulating the grain pattern of a superior leather on an inferior and/or less expensive skin. An example of this would be a calfskin embossed in imitation of Morocco.
endpapers - The sheets of paper (two or more) which come between the cover and the sewn sections. Part of the binding construction, they comprise, at their most basic, a board paper, also referred to as a pastedown (which is usually coloured and which serves to counteract the warp of the boards caused by the covering material) and a free fly leaf, which protects the first or last pages of text.
fatliquoring - The process of introducing oil into a skin following tannage but before the leather is dried. In fatliquoring, which is usually applied to light leathers, the oil is introduced into the leather in such a manner that the individual fibers of the skin are uniformly coated. The actual percentage of oil on the weight of the leather is relatively small, being about 3 to 10%. The principal function of fatliquoring is to influence the degree of fiber cohesion which takes place before drying. If there were no cohesion whatsoever, the skin would separate into its constituent fibrils, leaving no leather structure. On the other hand, if all the fibrils and fibers cohered, the skin would then take the form of a hard and horny material having no value as leather. Somewhere between these two extremes there is an ideal degree of cohesion for any given purpose for which the leather is to be used.
fillet - A continuous plain line produced by a wheel-shaped finishing tool of the same name.
fly leaf - A leaf or leaves at the beginning and end of a hook, being the leaf or leaves not pasted to the boards, or covers, of the book.
folio - 1. A sheet of paper in one of the traditional sizes, folded once to give two leaves. 2. A book made of such sheets, i.e. the largest format possible in that particular size.
fore-edge painting - A scene painted on the fore edge of a book, either with the edge solid so that the resultant painting is visible with the book closed, or, in the more accepted use of the term, with the edge fanned out so that the painting is not visible with the book closed. When the painting is done with the leaves fanned out, the edge is generally also gilded or marbled in the usual manner, so that the closed book shows no trace whatsoever of the painting. A double fore-edge painting is one with two paintings, which can be viewed independently by fanning the leaves first one way and then the other. A triple fore-edge painting has a visible scene in addition, in which case the edge is not gilded or marbled. The painting of fore edges is very old, going back perhaps as early as the 10th century. These earliest fore-edge paintings consisted of symbolical designs. The art reached England in the 14th century, and among the early fore-edge paintings, such as those executed by Thomas Berthelet for King Henry VIII, consisted of treating the fore edge as a solid panel for a heraldic or other motif in gold and colors. The binder who originated the technique of painting a design on the fanned out leaves is unknown, although Samuel Mearne is thought to have employed one or more artists and binders who did this kind of painting. The first known disappearing painting dates from 1649; the art of fore-edge painting under gold reached its pinnacle in England in the latter half of the 17th century.
foxing - Stains, specks, spots and
blotches in paper. The cause or causes of foxing, which usually occurs in
machine-made paper of the late 18th and the 19th centuries, are not completely
understood, but in all likelihood, it is fungoid in nature. Fungi, however, are
not necessarily visible on foxed areas, nor does prolific growth necessarily
imply excessive discoloration, and vice versa. This has been attributed partly
to the fact that action may have been initiated before the examination of the
paper, and partly, but less convincingly, to the so-called, action at a
distance, which enables an agent to exert its effect at some distance from the
object acted upon. Two significant differences between foxed and clean areas of
a paper are the higher proportion of acid and iron in the former, although there
does not seem to be any clear and definitive relationship between iron and
foxing. Insofar as the acid is involved, it is not clear whether this is
produced chemically or as a byproduct of the life function of the organisms
present. Iron is attributed to impurities present in the paper, and this
conclusion seems to be based largely on the fact that it is seldom found in
papers produced before the introduction of papermaking equipment made of iron,
e.g., the beater, and improvements in techniques, including bleaching and other
forms of chemical treatment. But what role iron has in accelerating foxing, or
causing a change from the invisible to visible state, has yet to be
demonstrated. The other factor which controls foxing is relative humidity (R.H.),
since these fungi will not develop if the R.H. falls below 75%. The fact that
foxing generally starts from the edge of the leaf and spreads inward would seem
to indicate that something in the atmosphere is relevant, although air borne
organisms may be adequate as an explanation for this effect. In addition, it
must still be explained how the center of the leaf is affected most in
occasional instances. Perhaps the most logical explanation is that infection by
air borne organisms (or by organisms that are natural to the paper) may occur if
the conditions, and especially the R.H., are favorable, and that growth,
resulting in the generation of fox marks, then occurs. The acid subsequently
renders any iron in the paper soluble and therefore visible, with its color
being intensified by the presence of organic matter. The effects of foxing may
be reduced to a reasonable extent by use of a reducing agent, such as sodium
borohydride (NaBH 4 ) in a 0.5% solution by weight of the paper. This chemical
has the advantage of not having to be washed out of the paper (and even
depositing a small alkaline reserve - sodium tetraborate (Na 2 B 4 O 7 )—in the
paper). Foxing may be counteracted to an even greater extent by the use of a
0.1% (by weight of the paper) solution of an oxidizing agent such as calcium
hypochlorite (Ca(ClO)2); however, this chemical is very difficult to wash out
after treatment. Unaffected papers may be successfully protected from foxing by
maintaining the R.H. of the storage area below 50%. Dendritic growths- Minute to
relatively large discolorations in a sheet of paper due to oxidation of minute
particles of metal present in the paper. The presence of the metal is generally
believed to be due to the use of metal beaters. etc., in the manufacture of the
paper. With the passage of time, irregular fern-shaped designs radiate from the
particles. - Courtesy of Etherington and Roberts: Bookbinding
and the Conservation of Books A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology.
Additional Info below Courtesy of "Foxing Stains and Discoloration of Leaf Margins and Paper Surrounding Printing Ink: Coherent Phenomena in Books." by Frank J. Ligterink, Henk J. Porck and Win J. Th. Smit.
Though certain fungi and metal residues are proposed as factors which play a role in the development of brownish stains in paper, the published results of research in this respect are not completely convincing and, moreover, do not offer an overall explanation for the whole range of spotty discoloration symptoms encountered in books. As a consequence, the term generally used for these stains, foxing, is not yet unambiguously defined, and many questions with regard to the actual source and development of these discolorations still remain to be answered. In order to obtain more insight into this problem, we intensively studied a large number of different stains and other paper discolorations in nearly one hundred books.
Firstly we focused on a frequently occurring form, namely the browning of paper around the printing ink. Our survey has shown that this so-called text-block discoloration very often appears in combination with browning of the margins of leaves and with foxing stains. Though according to the present views there is no relation between these different forms of discoloration in paper, our observations have clearly indicated that they are in fact all part of one complex phenomenon. Foxing stains appear to have developed at non-arbitrary places in the paper, often concentrated at the leaf margins and in the textblocks, and can also join together to more or less homogeneously discolored zones. On the basis of this coherency and other similar characteristics, we propose to abandon the restriction of the term foxing to stains, and to extend its definition to the other more zonal forms of discoloration.
In connection with our discovery that sometimes a certain stain pattern which does not copy on the subsequent page, appears to repeat on pages further in the book, we reconstructed the original unfolded gatherings of the book in question with the aid of photocopies. This revealed that several stain patterns of successive gatherings corresponded when the unfolded sheets were put on top of each other consecutively. This clearly indicates that these stains originated during the storage of the unfolded gatherings, i.e. before the binding of the book.
Subsequently we performed a more detailed examination of the course of stains from page to page in several books. Our findings in this respect suggest that many stains are part of small or more extended three-dimensional structures inside the book, the stain pattern on each page being a cross-section of these structures. Evidently these stains have developed in the book after binding. A third group could be distinguished, namely stains which repeat neither on the subsequent pages nor on pages further in the book. Presumably these stains originated in an earlier step in the book production process, possibly during the storage of identical, not yet ordered gatherings. In these cases, corresponding stain patterns can theoretically be expected in different books from the same edition. It was indeed possible to find two books which showed such a correspondence.
Though it now seems possible to elucidate the origin of stains in books by reconstruction of the original spatial stain structures, one has to deal with a complex situation where the various stains on one page may have originated in different steps in the book production process and thus will be part of different structures. Moreover, the use of more than one type of paper in the production of a book appears to cause sudden changes in the stain structures present.
As the present theories on the causes of foxing (fungi, metals) do not satisfactorily explain the observed relationship between stains and other forms of paper discoloration, another approach is needed. As already suggested by others, the physico-chemical process underlying the observed browning of humidified fibrous materials at the dry-wet interface might play a crucial role in the discoloration of paper. We presume that this browning reaction takes place in paper at accumulations of moisture, caused by local condensation processes in the book. It can be expected that many factors influencing condensation and evaporation will play a role in this respect. Additional research is planned to verify the condensation theory experimentally.
free endpaper - The units of two or more leaves placed in the front and back of a book between its covers and text block. In rare instances the endpaper may consist of a single leaf. The endpaper at the front of the book is called the front endpaper, while the one at the back is called the off endpaper, or back endpaper.
frontispiece - The illustration facing the title page of a book.
full gilt - A book having all three edges gilt, described as a.e.g., for all edges gilt. A book, usually leather bound, which is heavily tooled in gold on the spine, and with center and corner tools on the covers.
gauffering - ( gauffred, gaufré,
goffered ) Decorating the edges of a
book, usually gilded, by using heated finishing tools or rolls which indent
small repeat patterns. The edges of a book, usually gilded, which have
been decorated further by means of heated finishing tools or rolls which indent
small repeating patterns. Gauffering is most successful on a book printed on
hard paper and gilt solid. It may be done directly on the gold, or by laying a
different colored gold over the first, and tooling over the top gold, leaving
the pattern in the new gold impressed on the original metal. The effect of
gauffering is sometimes enhanced by scraping away parts of the gold and then
staining the white paper showing through. While this technique was used by a
number of European bookbinders, it was especially associated with German
bookbinding of the 16th century. The use of color on the edges of books bound in
England was less frequent and more restrained. Plain gauffering was done well
into the 17th century, usually on embroidered bindings, but appears to have
declined sharply after 1650 or so. It was then revived and exploited from the
end of the 18th century onwards, and was especially popular in the latter half
of the 19th century, when it was found on elaborately bound devotional and other
Almost all gauffering was done with pointillé tools, or, as in many examples, the designs were built up with repeated impressions of a large dot. Pointillé tools, as well as those cut in outline, produce delicate effects and are more easily impressed on a hard paper surface than are solid tools. The term comes from the French word for honeycomb, and also applies to the practice of crimping or fluting cloth with heated gauffering irons.
gilt also gild or gilded - to overlay with or as if with a thin covering of gold.
headcap - In leather bindings, a shaped and modelled turn-in over the top and bottom of the spine.
illuminated - A manuscript or book embellished with ornamental letters, scrolls, miniature and/or other designs, usually in gold and red, but also in silver and other colors.
illuminated binding - A binding which has extra colors in its scheme of decoration, and especially a binding in which a design was first blocked in blind and afterwards colored. Originally a French innovation, this style was used in England from about 1830 to 1860. Burnt sienna, carmine, gamboge, indigo, sap green and ultramarine were the colors most often used mainly because they were more lightfast. The color was mixed with a suitable gum and applied to the cover; when it was dry, gold leaf was laid on the areas to be gilded, and the entire design was then impressed with the heated block, which fixed both gold and colors, sharpening the edge of the latter.
illumined - It is a 14th century derivative of illuminate used as a transitive verb. I use it to stay true to Hubbard's wording in many instances.
intarsia - A decorative inlaid pattern in a surface, especially a mosaic worked in wood.
Japan vellum - A thick paper produced in Japan from native fibers that are of relatively great length. The paper has a very cloudy formation and is tough and durable. The color is usually cream or natural, and the paper is finished with a smooth surface. Japanese vellum is suitable for engravings, etc., or where a very durable paper is required. An imitation, made by treating ordinary paper with sulfuric acid, is sometimes called "Japon." Also called vegetable vellum.
Levant - A heavy, coarse-grained morocco leather often used in bookbinding. Also called Levant morocco. The countries bordering on the eastern Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Egypt. Levant is capitalized for both of these definitions. In general, a descriptive term applied to a leather having a characteristic drawn-grain pattern, originally produced by an astringent tannage, but now produced by hand or machine boarding (1) of vegetable or semi-chrome tanned goatskins and sheepskins, or vegetable tanned sealskin. The traditional "Levant" used in bookbinding is a vegetable tanned goatskin. When the pattern is produced by embossing, as it frequently is, it is called "Levant grain." The original Levant, which during the past one hundred years or so was considered to be the finest of the morocco family, was always goatskin obtained from the Near East. In recent years, however, the best Levant has been tanned in the northern and northwestern areas of Africa and usually finished in France. Today the great bulk of genuine "Levant" goatskin comes from South Africa and is called "cape Levant.
levant - To leave hurriedly or in secret to avoid unpaid debts. So you why see I capitalize Levant.
limp vellum - A book which does not have stiff boards but instead has flexible cloth, leather, vellum, or paper sides, which may or may not be lined. The term, however, is seldom applied to paper sides. (See: SELF-COVER .) Limp vellum bindings for blankbooks were being produced at least as early as the 14th century and probably earlier. This type of binding was not a craft binding, however; it was more convenient to bind the thin blankbooks of that time in limp covers. Other limp vellum bindings were produced in relatively great numbers in the 16th and 17th centuries, but the limp vellum binding declined thereafter until revived by the private presses near the end of the 19th century. In the last quarter of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th, limp leather was commonly used for books to be carried in the pocket, but for the past century or so limp bindings have been largely restricted to devotional books, diaries, and sentimental verse, sometimes in the YAPP STYLE .
marbling - The art or process of producing certain patterns of a veined or mottled appearance in imitation of marble by means of colors so prepared as to float on a mucilaginous liquid which possesses antagonistic properties to the colors prepared for the purpose. The colors are floated and formed into patterns and are taken off by laying a sheet of paper (or touching the edge of the book) on the surface of the size. The size is usually prepared from carragheen moss or gum tragacanth, boiled in water, but it may also be made from flea seed, linseed, etc., although flea seed and linseed are not as effective as the two gums and cannot be used in the production of certain marbles, e.g., the combed marbles. Water colors are generally used in marbling, although oil colors can also be used; however, they do not permit as fine control or produce the clean, sharp lines of water colors. Mineral colors are seldom used because of their tendency to sink to the bottom of the trough due to their weight.
modeled leather - A method of decorating a book in which the leather cover is molded, cut, or hammered to raise a design in relief, or in which the leather is laid over a decorative foundation attached to the boards. The style is found on the Stonyhurst Gospel (7th or 8th century) and on some Coptic bindings of 100 or 200 years later, but is not seen again, at least in British craft bookbinding, until the end of the 19th century.
Morocco - A soft fine leather of goatskin tanned with oak bark or sumac, used for book bindings and shoes.
mucilage - An aqueous adhesive consisting of gum Arabic or fish glue, plasticized with glycerin, glycol, or sorbitol, with a small amount of a preservative and odorant added. In a more general sense, mucilage is a liquid adhesive having a low order of bonding strength. The terms mucilage and mucilaginous are also commonly used as generic terms describing gummy or gluey water-miscible substances.
octavo - A sheet of paper of any traditional size, folded three times to make a section of eight leaves or 16 pages. Also called 8vo or 8 deg.
octodecimo - Also called eighteen-mo. One-eighteenth of a sheet. The eighteen-mo is an unusual method of imposition resulting in a section of 18 leaves, or 36 pages. One method of producing it is to fold a sheet concertina-wise, followed by an envelope fold, followed by a right angle fold. Although used in book production between about 1770 and 1840, it is seldom, if ever, used in bookwork today. It is, however, sometimes used in advertising work, etc., where the folded sheet is to be untrimmed and remain folded in compact form until unfolded for reading.
offset - 1. A printing process which involves the transferral of the image from a litho stone or a plate to a rubber-covered cylinder, which is then offset by pressure onto the paper. The image area of the plate is receptive to ink, whereas the balance of the plate is water receptive. 2. The inadvertent transfer of (printing) ink from one printed sheet or illustration to another sheet. Offsetting of this nature may occur during printing, in the printing warehouse storage area, during folding of the sheets, or during binding (pressing) before the ink is completely dry. Offsetting from illustrative matter onto text matter is probably more common than that from text sheet to text sheet. Also frequently called "rub off" or set off. The result of undried ink or excess ink accumulating on some part of the printing press after the paper leaves the impression cylinder. This ink is transferred to the paper at the second impression and, if the registration is not absolutely accurate, the offset will give a shaded edge effect to the print
Ooze - An obsolete term for the vegetable tanning liquor used in converting hides and skins into leather.
ooze leather - Originally, a leather produced from calfskin by forcing ooze through the skin by mechanical means, producing a soft, finely grained finish like velvet or suede on the flesh side. The term is also used incorrectly with reference to sheepskin. Today, ooze leather is a vegetable- or chrome-tanned skin of bovine origin. generally calfskin, with a very soft, glove-like feel and a natural grain, which is sometimes accentuated by boarding.
parchment - Sheep or goatskin (with the hair removed) that has been split, soaked, limed and dried under tension, not tanned like leather.
pastedown - The plain, colored, fancy, or marbled paper attached to the inside of the board of a book after it has been covered, or when it is cased-in. The pastedown serves several purposes: 1) it hides the raw edges of the covering material where it is turned over the edges of the board; 2) it forms the hinge between the text block and the board or case; and 3) in edition and library binding, particularly the former. the pastedown and hinge are frequently the only means by which the text block is secured to its case. If the pastedown is laid down independently of, and is separate from, the flyleaf, it is called a Doublure, in which case it is joined to the flyleaf by means of joint, usually of leather. The pastedown is frequently referred to as the "board paper." It is also sometimes called the "endpaper" (singular), "end lining," "end sheet" (singular), or "lining paper."
quarterfoil - A finishing tool consisting of a conventionalized representation of a flower with four petals or a leaf with four leaflets, or an ornamental design having four lobes or foils.
quarto - A book in which the sheets have been folded twice, the second fold at right angles to the first. The result is often squarer than the upright rectangular characteristic of the Folio , Octavo , and Duodecimo . In books with laid paper the chain lines are horizontal. In England the quarto became an elegant format for published works in the first half of the 18th century. In the 19th century, when the rapid mechanization of the printing industry took place, librarians began to apply the term format according to size rather than the way a book was put together. This has contributed considerably to the general confusion concerning format.
quire - 1. One-twentieth of a ream of paper, or 25 sheets (sometimes 24 sheets plus an outside sheet) in the case of a 500-sheet ream, or 24 sheets in the case of a 480-sheet ream. 2. A gathering (section), particularly when unfolded (i.e., printed but unfolded). A quire was originally a gathering of 4 sheets, forming 8 leaves or 16 pages after one folding.
red decay - A type of deterioration of leather (bookbindings), which generally takes two forms: 1) a hardening and embrittling of the leather, which occurs most often in leathers up to about 1830, i.e., books published (or at least bound) up to that date, and which is especially noticeable in calfskin bindings; and 2) a powdering of the leather, which can be so severe as to destroy it completely. This latter deterioration appears to affect virtually all leathers, and is apparently influenced by several factors, including (possibly) the tanning agent or agents used, light (ultraviolet radiation), atmospheric conditions (air pollution--sulfur dioxide), and, finally, how frequently (or, more accurately, how infrequently) the book is handled. Type #2 is quite common with Roycroft suede bindings.
reverse calf - A calfskin finished on the flesh side by light buffering. The skin is used flesh side out. Reverse calf was sometimes used in place of suede leather as a covering material for ledgers and blankbooks during the latter 18th and early 19th centuries. Also called "rough calf."
sizing - 1. A property of a material stemming from an alteration of its surface characteristics, which, in the case of paper, pertains to fiber characteristics. In so far as internal sizing of paper is concerned, it is a measure of the resistance of the paper to the penetration of water and/or various liquids, e.g., ink; while in terms of surface sizing, it refers to the increase of properties such as water and abrasion resistance. abrasiveness, creasibility, finish, printability, smoothness, and surface bonding strength, as well as a decrease of porosity and surface fuzz. 2. The process of adding materials to a papermaking furnish or the application of materials to the surface of a paper or board to provide resistance to the penetration of liquids and, in the case of surface sizing, to affect one or more of the properties listed under 1.
Slunk - The skin of an unborn or prematurely born animal. The term is applied particularly to calves, from which the very finest grade of Parchment is produced. Slunks are also used in making suede leather , and the smaller the fibers, the finer the nap that can be produced. The skins of unborn or prematurely born animals have skins with very fine fibers and a much less highly developed vascular network.
suede - A term taken from the French, "gants de Suède" (Swedish gloves), and applied to a leather finished on the flesh side by buffering so as to raise a velvet-like nap. The typical suede leather is produced from the smaller skins, such as calfskin, kidskin, lambskin and goatskin, although cowhide has also been used. The nap is produced by buffing or wheeling the surface on the flesh side, or the split side of flesh splits; velvet suede, however, is buffed on the grain side. A common criterion of good suede leather is that the fibers of the nap should be of uniform length and tightly packed together, in order to give a resilience to the nap so that it does not readily shown fingermarks. c The firmness of the nap depends upon the density and compactness of the fiber structure. Velvet suede is finer than flesh suede and a younger animal, such as a Slunk , produces an even finer suede. A principal concern in making suede leather is to retain the fine nap and still produce a soft leather.
text block - The sections, sewn or unsewn, that make up the text of the book.
tip on, tip in, tip up - To incorporate a single sheet, plate, endpaper or section into a book by applying a narrow strip of adhesive to its back margin and sticking it to the back edge of a section.
title page - The recto of the third or fourth leaf of a book, on which is printed the complete title of the book, with other information such as author, volume number, date, patron, publisher's name, and place and date of publication.
tool - To title and decorate a binding by impressing engraved tools into the surface of the covering material. The impression can be in gold (gold foil or leaf), in colour (coloured foil) or 'blind' (a dark or black impression caused either by heat and pressure alone or by using a tool dabbed in printer's ink).
vegetable tannins - A group of complex hydrocarbon substances common throughout most of the vegetable kingdom, and having the capability, to a greater or lesser degree. of converting hide and skin, i.e., protein, into leather. Tannins are complex organic materials, and frequently have very large molecules and high molecular weights, on the order of 2,000 or greater, although it is still not certain whether they might better be considered macro-molecular substances. i.e., those with very large molecules and high molecular weights which break down into smaller fragments. Tannins were at one time classed with the glucosides because of the sugar groups that most of them contain but they are now more often regarded as constituting a class by themselves, as some, e.g., the hemlock tannins, do not have the sugar group in the molecule. In addition to carbon. hydrogen, and oxygen, some nitrogen, phosphorus, as well as traces of inorganic ions, may be present.
Vegetable tannins for the most part are uncrystallizable colloidal substances with pronounced astringent properties. They have the ability to precipitate gelatin from solution and to form insoluble compounds with gelatin-yielding tissues. which is the property which enables them to convert raw hide and skin into leather, consolidating the dermal network of the hide into firmer and drier structures of improved thermal stability, durability, and water resistance. Because they are extremely complex substances, vegetable tannins are difficult to classify; however, they are usually considered to consist of polyphenolic systems of two types: the hydrolized tannins (the pyrogallol class), the main constituents of which are esters of glucose with acids such as chebulic, ellagic. gallic and m-digallic; and the condensed (catechol) tannins. which are based on leuco-anthocyanidins and like substances joined together in a manner not clearly understood. The pyrogallol tannins may be hydrolyzed by acids or enzymes and include the gallotannins (from plant galls) and the ellagitannins. which produce bloom on leather, and which are characteristic of divi divi, myrabolans, sumac, tara, valonea, and other well-known tannins. The condensed tannins are not hydrolyzable and are characteristic of hemlock, mangrove, quebracho, wattle, and the like. The condensed tannins are more astringent, i.e., they tan more rapidly, than the pyrogallols have larger molecules and are less well buffered. They yield less sediment. or lose less upon standing, but the leather they produce often tends to turn a reddish color upon exposure to natural light. They also yield phlobaphenes or reds .
The terms "condensed" and "pyrogallol," as such do not mean that the tannins contain these substances but simply indicate that dihydric and trihydric phenols are produced respectively when the materials are heated (dry distillation). Quite often the "tannin" derived from a plant material. e.g., oak bark. has characteristics of both groups and consequently is generally considered to be a mixture or compound of the two principal types. The two classes of tannin also display different reactions towards acqueous solution of iron salts. The condensed tannins produce green-black colors while the pyrogallol class gives blue-blacks (a reaction important in the manufacture of some inks). Furthermore, they differ in their tanning properties. Pyrogallol tannins, for example, being less astringent than the condensed class, tan more slowly and produce leather of less solidity. In addition, when extracted from the plant they generally contain smaller molecules of tannin. and, being better buffered. i.e., containing weak organic acids and their salts, they resist changes in pH value when acid or alkali is added.
For a complete and even reaction with the skin or hide to take place during tannage, it is necessary to use the tanning material in the form of a liquor, i.e., an aqueous infusion of the plant material. Modern tanneries use extracts that are concentrates of acqueous liquors. the latter usually being concentrated under reduced pressure to provide highly viscous or even solid products. Other materials extracted are known as non-tannins (abbreviated non-tans) and may include: hydrolysis products of the tannins, starches, gums, hemicelluloses, poly-saccharides, hexoses, pentoses, uronic acid. organic acids (lactic and acetic), together with their salts, inorganic salts, proteins and zymoproteins (enzymes), if the temperature is not too high, as well as coloring matters such as brasilin, fisetin, and quercetin. Vegetable tanning liquors are extremely complicated in their chemical composition, and the tannin/ non-tannin ratio, the color, and the particular substances involved have a considerable (and far from completely understood) bearing on their tanning properties and, therefore, on the quality of the leather produced.
Although tannins occur throughout the greater part of the vegetable kingdom, they are more prevalent among the Angiosperms, or higher plants, especially in certain Dicotyledon families, than they are among the lower types, such as fungi, algae, etc. The Gymnosperms also have classes in which tanning is well developed, e.g., the pines, spruces and hemlocks. The Dicotyledons include many families in which tannin occurs quite freely, among which the most noteworthy are the Leguminosae, e.g., the black wattle; the Anacardiaceae, e.g., quebracho and sumac; the Combretaceae, e.g., myrabolans; Rhisophoraceae, e.g., mangroves; Myrtaceae, e.g., eucalyptus; and Polygonaceae, e.g., canaigre. Tannin may occur in almost any part of a plant, including roots, stems or trunk, hark, leaves, fruit, and even hairs. It may occur either in isolated individual cells, in groups or chains of cells (the more common occurrence), or in special cavities or sacs. It may also be present in latex vessels and lactiferous tissue accompanied by other substances. In the living plant, tannin is present chiefly in solution in the vacuoles. As the cell ages and loses its protoplasmic contents, the tannin usually becomes absorbed in the cell wall; in dead plant tissue tannin often accumulates in considerable quantities. Tannins often occur in green or immature fruits, the quantity decreasing as the fruit ripens. and they may also occur in seeds. often becoming more abundant following germination. Tannin is also quite prevalent in tissues as a result of pathological conditions, such as plant galls. Certain of these galls constitute the richest sources of tannin in plants, e.g., Chinese galls, which have a tannin content ranging from 50 to 80%. The use of vegetable tannins in the manufacture of leather probably predates recorded history, and there is creditable evidence that they were in use in Egypt as far back as 5000 B.C. The ancient Greeks and Romans were well versed in the art of vegetable tanning and evidence indicates that vegetable tannins were used in China many thousands of years ago.
vellum - 1.a. A fine parchment made from unsplit calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin and used for the pages and binding of books. 1.b. A work written or printed on this parchment. 2. A heavy off-white or cream colored fine-quality paper resembling this parchment.
yapp edges - A style of binding featuring a cover (leather, or other material, but customarily leather) that overlaps the three edges of both upper and lower covers continuously. The covers are always limp or semi-flexible, and are sometimes fitted with a zipper, which was a later refinement. Yapp books, named after the English bookseller of the second half of the 19th century, William Yapp, always have round corners, and the endpapers are frequently made from a "surface" paper, usually black. The edges are sometimes gilt, frequently over red, or are stained or otherwise colored. The Yapp style is especially associated with books of devotion (almost exclusively today), although a half century ago books of verse were sometimes bound in somewhat similar covers.