Book Repair for Hardcover Books

Instructions on how to repair hardcover books

Sewing book repairs

Lap Link Stitch

The Lap-link Stitch 1) Sewing An Anchor Thread Into An Attached Signature The lap-link stitch must have an even number of sewing stations. The kettle stitches at either end of the text block stand alone. All other sewing stations are in pairs. The sewing thread should be as long as needed providing it is a comfortable length to sew with. See the information on adding sewing thread in an earlier post. Begin sewing one signature before the first loose/unattached signature. The first station…

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Sewing book repairs

Link Stitch

SEWING THE TEXT BLOCK Linen thread and sewing needles are discussed in earlier posts. Depending on the height and weight of the text block, a volume may have more or less sewing stations than the example used in these instructions. The instructions can be repeated as often as necessary, depending on the number of sewing stations between the kettle stitches. When sewing the link stitch, any number of sewing stations can be used. For the lap-link stitch, there must be an even number…

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Sewing book repairs

Resewing a Damaged Text Block – Part 3

PREPARING THE TEXT BLOCK All the necessary paper repairs should be done before starting the sewing procedure. Mark the centers of each signature to be sewn so they are easier to locate during the sewing process. Find and mark the centers of the signature before the first separated signature and after the last separated signature as well as all the separated signatures. A punching jig (construction details in a separate post) can be used to achieve consistently placed sewing holes. Use an awl or needle…

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Sewing book repairs

Resewing a Damaged Text Block – Part 2

CLEANING AND RELINING THE TEXT BLOCK SPINE Depending on the condition of the text block spine, the spine lining paper and the crash can be removed before sewing. If only one or two signatures are separated or in need of repair, it might be easier to punch sewing holes through the spine lining materials and sew directly through them. If several signatures are affected or if the spine lining materials are in poor condition, remove them and the original sewing threads, then resew the volume,…

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Sewing book repairs

Resewing a Damaged Text Block – Part 1

GAINING ACCESS TO THE TEXT BLOCK SPINE The spine of the text block must be accessible to resew loose or separated signatures. If the endpapers are separated at one hinge, cut through it with scissors or a knife to gain access to the spine. Whenever possible, separate the back hinge so the repair will be less noticeable. If the hinges are sound, it is possible to cut through one of the pastedowns to gain access to the text block spine. Again, makes cuts at the…

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Sewing book repairs

Resewing a Damaged Text Block

Often the sewing thread in one or two signatures will break while the rest of the text block sewing is sound. In this case, tipping or hinging the separated signature(s) into the book is not the best option because those methods do not give enough support to so many pages. Also, hinging-in pages adds several layers of thickness to the spine of the text block. The extra thickness can put stress on the case hinges and interfere with the pages opening easily. Resewing an entire…

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endpapers

Attaching the Endpapers

Endpapers can be attached to the text block in several ways. The two most common methods of attaching endpapers are either by sewing or by tipping them to the text block.   Sewing Endpapers To The Text Block Use link stitch to attach the endpaper to the text block. Sew the endpaper to at least three adjacent signatures. Tipping Endpapers Onto The Text Block Using the masking technique in Tipping In Pages, apply a l/4” line of glue to the folded edge…

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book hinge repair

Replacing Endpapers

If either or both endpapers are damaged and do not contain special or unique information, it may be easier to replace them with new endpapers. Most text paper is not truly white so use an off-white or cream colored paper to blend in with the text block. Many text blocks are not really square so it can be easier to trim the end sheet to fit the text block after it is attached to the text block. Fold the endpaper, and lay it in…

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endpapers

Lifting the Pastedown

If the information on the endpapers cannot be saved by constructing a new endpaper or photocopying, the pastedown can sometimes be mechanically lifted off the cover board or soaked off in water. Use a microspatula or sharp knife to carefully lift the fly leaf off the cover board. This procedure works best when the glue under the pastedown has dried and the pastedown is only loosely attached to the cover board. Some pastedowns can be removed by soaking the endpaper and cover board in water. The…

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book hinge repair

Photocopying Endpapers for Repair

Damaged endpapers can be photocopied and sewn to the text block. The endpapers can be copied as an entire page (pastedown and fly leaf on one page ) or in two parts (pastedown and fly leaf copied separately), then hinged together. Color photocopying is an option for damaged endpapers printed with maps that include color keys or route lines which do not reproduce well in black and white. The quality of a photocopy depends on the original image. Line drawings reproduce well while halftones or photographic…

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