Islamic binding – sorta done!
Today I tackled another project that I’ve been putting off – fixing an Islamic binding from a workshop with Yasmeen Kahn at the 2013 Paper and Book Intensive. I did complete another, more traditional-looking binding during the workshop – you can read about it in this post.
This second binding has a funky onlay of a piece of a dictionary page – the focus entry is ooze.
So what needed to be fixed on this book? The text block is too wide for the binding. Check it out – the damn thing doesn’t close properly.
The pages were more than 3/8″ too wide and needed to be trimmed.
I’ve been reluctant to do the trimming because I was afraid that I couldn’t keep a straightedge from slipping during cutting.
I realized that I needed to make a cutting guide that was the same width as my target measurement. I cut a piece of bookboard the target width of the text block and subtracted 2″ from it – then I attached a 2″ brass rule to it with packing tape. I taped it on both side and it was well-secured.
My cutting guide was perfect – it nestled right into the inside of the book and enabled me to get a consistent trim right where I wanted it.
A sharp blade is a must.
The trimming was done in no time. The cover now fit around the text block, which was awesome.
But…I discovered that the book would now only stay closed if I held it shut. So even though the text block is now perfect, the book still won’t stay shut because the wraparound part of the cover is a bit too small/tight.
So now what? I think the answer is to somehow stretch the leather in the wraparound part so that it will fit properly. I have no idea how to do that.
If anyone has any suggestions or references to recommend, please please please let me know.
In the meantime, it’s off to the Google!