Buckram and Cotlin Flat Back Books
April 7th, 2014 | Link
I made quite a stack of books over Christmas — 35 by the time I was done, some full cloth and some quarter cloth with various cover papers. I was trying to use up all the book cloth and paper that I’ve acquired over time so I can think about what I want to do next. I’ve written before that I’ve thought about giving up binding as a hobby, and then I had a surge in interest, and then it waned again.
I took a class called The Ideal Sketchbook from Michael Burke at the San Francisco Center for the Book a few summers ago, and these are not that book structure (the ideal sketchbook spine is rounded, and the covers attached in a specific way to allow the book to be opened flatter). But the book I made in the class used buckram for the cover, which I’d never used before, and I liked the way it looks and feels — simple and with kind of a waxy, polished finish. The darker gray journals here are covered with buckram, and the lighter one is cotlin, which is a linen-cotton blend without the polished finish. I also made matching endbands, folding the book cloth over linen hemp cord.
These are journals that I would write in, if I wrote that much. I’ve actually set aside one of the charcoal buckram ones for myself, if I ever fill the journal I have in progress.
Finished size about 6-1/2″ wide by 9-3/4″ high; 160 pages in Mohawk Superfine Eggshell Soft White (100 lb), which is my favorite text-weight paper. The board is .098″ Davey board, so these books have heft and are really pleasing to hold, especially the buckram — if you’re the kind of person who gets enjoyment out of holding a nice, solid book.