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Posts Tagged ‘bookcloth’

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Summer is over and I’m back in the studio again, and this past week has been very productive!  First up we have six eyecatching notebooks that feature the character cards from a vintage Cluedo (Clue, for the Americans reading this) board game.  The covers have been made using a vibrant deep yellow book cloth, so these books have a certain tactile appeal as well as being very bright!

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Work in progress…

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I was asked recently to make a book for someone who’s learning calligraphy.  The brief was that it had to be royal blue, feature an illustration of an ink pot and quill on it, open completely flat, and be about A5 in size.  I wish all my commissions were this straightforward!  I asked the customer to find an image she liked, and then I inset that into a cover of royal blue bookcloth and then bound the book using coptic binding.  The pages are fine grain cartridge paper, which I thought would stand up well to pen and ink work.  I haven’t worked with bookcloth for a while so this was a really nice book to make, I do love the texture of it.

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Towards the back end of last year the lovely Katy of Creating Misericordia asked me to make her a notebook/sketchbook to use whilst planning her new kitchen.  She provided one of her own drawings to use on the front cover of the book and left the rest up to me.  I chose a lovely dark green bookcloth, which I thought would be both hardwearing and attractive.

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The book is A5 in size, and the pages are a standard white 100gsm as chosen by Katy.  The coptic binding has been done with 100% linen thread, and the bookcloth is from Ratchford Ltd.

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Quite literally.  This might come as a surprise, bearing in mind how many books of varying sorts I’ve made, but I’ve never worked with bookcloth before.  Regular cloth, yes, but not proper bookcloth (cloth which has been backed with paper so that glue doesn’t seep through the weave).  The main factor for me has always been cost: cloth and bookcloth are sold by the metre (well, bookcloth seems to come in half metre measures but you get the point), and a metre of bookcloth is a damn sight more expensive than a metre of fabric bought at the local market (especially after you add the postage cost to the bookcloth).  So I’ve always used regular cloth, which I like because there’s a lot more variety – but it can be a bugger to work with because unless you’re really careful the glue will go through the cloth.

Anyway, I finally decided to give proper bookcloth a go and ordered some from Shepherds Falkiners (because I’m too lazy to get on the tube and go to their shop in London…).  I went for purple, no particular reason I just felt like purple, and thankfully I’ve got some paper that goes with that!

It’s great, it really is a revelation to me.  Easy to work with, and a very nice finish.  I would love to work with a silk bookcloth in future (the chiyogami papers pictured above would have been perfect with silk), but at £20 for half a metre that will have to wait a very long time!  In the meantime I ordered some black bookcloth straight after using this purple one for the first time  (black goes with everything, right?), and have already used that too … more on that next week!

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