Book Repair Basics

Basic background information you should read before you start repairing your books.

Japanese repair tissue

Repairing Paper Tears with Japanese Tissue

Japanese repair tissue adds strength to a repair. It is used when the tear does not have wide, overlapping edges and needs reinforcement. Choose the best method for tearing and applying paste before beginning the repair. Apply paste on the Japanese repair tissue, then pick up the tissue using a needle, microspatula or fine tweezers. Carefully lay the tissue on the tear. If the tear is at the edge of the page, extend the Japanese tissue 3/8” past the edge of the paper. This extension can…

3
Read More
Japanese repair tissue

Repairing Paper Tears with Wheat Paste

When the paper tear has a strong, obvious top and bottom edge, applying wheat paste to the edges of the tear can be enough to bond them together. Use a very fine paint brush, microspatula or needle to apply wheat paste to the top and bottom edges of the tear and press them together. Cover the repair with wax paper press the edges of the tear together with a folder. Remember to always best to work from the base of the repair toward the edge of the page. Wipe away…

1
Read More
Finding the Grain

Simple or Complex Paper Tears

Paper tends to tear at an angle so most tears will have a top and a bottom. If the tear passes through the text or an illustration, it is easy to see which is the top or bottom because the bottom of the tear will show the white paper fibers. If the tear does not pass through text, look at the tear very carefully before pasting it together. Some tears will go with the grain of the paper while others go against the grain. Tears…

1
Read More
torn-book-page

Paper Tears, Cuts and Losses

Over the next few posts I will cover the methods you can use to repair paper tears, cuts in paper or paper losses in your books. The same techniques are also used for a single sheet of paper not bound in a book. Paper tears are a simple repair often handled incorrectly with clear plastic tape. Clear plastic tape covers up the problem but it does not repair it and it can cause additional damage to the paper over time.

0
Read More
book corners

Book Corner Repairs

The corners of a book take a great deal of stress and can be damaged while the rest of the case is still in good condition. This is another repair that is often handled with plastic tape or purchased “repair wings.” Applying tape or wings does not repair the corner; instead it adds a layer of tape on top of the problem. The adhesive on the tape can seep out or dry up over time, causing the plastic carrier to fall…

0
Read More
Cleaning Books

Cleaning Books

Other Types of Cleaning Dry cleaning (as covered in a previous post) will only remove surface dirt. More advanced cleaning techniques include taking the book apart and washing each page. As you can imagine, that is a time consuming and costly process. I do not recommend you try this without some professional guidance on hand. For that reason I will not be covering the technique on this site. There are, however, many libraries and colleges that run single day workshops for you…

0
Read More
Cleaning Books

Cleaning Pages of a Book

When attempting to clean paper, always start with the least abrasive cleaning method before trying others. Keep in mind that cleaning can be a time consuming task. Evaluate each book before attempting to dry clean it. Make sure that cleaning a particular volume is a good use of time. Dry cleaning is any kind of cleaning that does not use water or liquid cleaners. Done correctly, dry cleaning will not damage your book. Some dirt can be swept off the page using a soft,…

1
Read More
Parts-of-a-Book

How To Measure a Book

Measuring books accurately can be a challenge since books are not always square or flat. It’s standard practice in book repair to take most repair measurements with a piece of scratch paper rather than a ruler. Measuring the Height of a Book Lay the scratch paper in position and mark one or both ends of the measurement. Add direction arrows to indicate where the measurement starts and stops. Measuring the Spine Width The spine can be measured in two ways…

1
Read More

Drying Book Repair Work

Most repairs involve moisture of some kind, be it paste or glue. When moisture is introduced into paper, board or cloth, special precautions need to be taken. A wet repair should be isolated from other pages in a book or it can adhere itself to adjacent pages and the book will not open correctly. Repair to the cover of a book must also be protected until dry. The simplest way to isolate and protect a paper repair is with a moisture barrier, such as…

0
Read More
Brushes

Adhesives and Repair Tissue

When applying adhesive to Japanese repair tissue, choose a brush that matches the size of the surface. If the area is small, use a small brush; a bigger area needs a bigger brush. A thin, even coat of adhesive makes the best bond. Too much adhesive will ooze out the edges of a repair and can stain other surfaces. Apply paste or glue to paper or cloth by brushing from the center of the materials being glued toward the outer…

3
Read More
x Logo: Shield
This Site Is Protected By
Shield