Following on from the headband workshop (below), I decided to try to re-back the book I had used for the lesson. As we needed a book block to practice on, I had previously removed the badly damaged covers from an old but rather dear little book cloth bound book. I loved the very decorative cloth cover, so it seemed a shame to make an entirely new cover, better I thought to save as much of the original as possible.
First of all I removed the text block and because it was loose and torn, I also removed the cover. With a damp piece of cotton wool I gently dampened the cloth-covered boards in order to allow the water to eventually loosen the adhesive between the cloth and the boards. I needed to leave the covers for a while to prevent them drying out, so I wrapped them in cling film being careful to avoid over wetting. Several sessions of dampening was needed until eventually I was able to lift the cloth free from the boards. The original cloth was in a rather tatty state, so I carefully trimmed away the damaged parts before gluing to a new cover.
I hope that makes sense, I have seen this technique demonstrated by an expert which puts all my efforts in the shade. I am showing you my newly covered book not as an ideal example. I think I should have stuck the green cover a bit nearer to the foredge but no matter, next time maybe. I decided to choose a contrasting colour for the cover but you can if you wish paint the new book cloth with acrylic paint to match. On the whole I was quite pleased with the result but I don’t think I will be giving up the day job just yet!
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.