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A Look at the World of Islamic Book­bind­ing with Yas­meen Khan – Day 3

Today’s instruction included what Yasmeen referred to as “down and dirty” gold tooling.

Gold foilHere are her tips:

  • Use the foil shiny side down.
  • You can use a tacking iron for tooling lines.
  • Bear down, follow the tool with your body.
  • Rock the tool forward.
  • Don’t tool on shellacked paper – it’s not necessarily safe. At that point, use gold paint.

Islamic binding - leather cover

Before casing in our text blocks, we glued paper to the exposed board (without leather) with straight PVA to counteract the pull of the boards.

Inside of unfinished Islamic binding

Here’s how we cased in our text blocks:

  1. Linen hinges were cut at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Paste up the spine with a PVA/paste mix.
  3. Paste up the leather.
  4. Mark off the center of the spine in pencil to help with placement.
  5. Sit the text block in the case, then push in the covers.
  6. Lay the book on its side.
  7. Dampen the spine and massage the leather until it stretches to form to the spine.
  8. Put newsprint in between the pages and cover to protect it from the paste.
  9. Glue in the end pages at 90 degrees to the cover.

Islamic binding

The doublures extend on to the first page of the text block. The paper can be cut in a zig-zag shape, which helps distribute the distortion of the paper.

Inside of Islamic binding

It felt so satisfying to complete a book today!

I’d like to end with today’s notable quotes from Yasmeen:

“The book is about living in the hand.”

“Reading is a tactile activity.”

“No book feels good on a Kindle.”

“Leather work is for unclean people.”

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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