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Subject: Bookcloth


From: Ann V. Frellsen <libavf>
Date: Friday, November 15, 1996
Due to the demise of starch-filled buckrams, our book repair unit is
considering a switch to the newer poly/cotton fabrics with aqueous
coating that the mills offer to binderies.  However, our book repair
assistants do not like the way these new fabrics work.  The new
fabrics are much more difficult to handle--among other problems,
they take longer to stick.  The fabric mill representatives
(Hollistan and ICG), the adhesives folks (U.S. Adhesives Co.) and
our bindery's supply company (Gane Brothers) all say that the reason
it doesn't stick as quickly is that polyester fibers are not as
absorbent as cotton (the adhesive is not absorbed as quickly when
you press buckram and board or paper together.) So they suggest that
we need a different adhesive since we changed from starch-filled
all-cotton buckrams to the acrylic coated poly-cotton buckrams.

The adhesive company our bindery uses is willing to work with us in
order to develop an adhesive that will work better with the new
buckrams.  At this time we mix up our PVA (Jade 403) with
methylcellulose and wheat paste to get water-reversibility, longer
working time, and smoother application. As a starting point, the
adhesives scientists were sent a sample of our adhesive mix and
analyzed it.

The adhesives company has just sent us a couple quarts of two types
of different PVA's that should duplicate the qualities of our
adhesive mix as best they can physically, but with what they believe
to be the appropriate improvements, i.e., a greater solids
percentage, and water solubility at the outset.

Of course this is all without site-testing. We are doing that this
week. The only difference (on the spec sheets that accompanied each
sample) between the 2 samples is that one is a co-polymer and one is
a homo-polymer. They seem to meet all LBI standards other than that.

I still haven't decided to stay with the new buckrams and might
switch to the more expensive fabrics that Bookmaker's carries, but I
thought I would give the industry fellows a chance to sell me on
their interest in our meager book repair business.  They "don't want
to lose us as customers" so right now they are willing to work on
getting something we will like. "Us" meaning all book-repair people
out there.  (Well, I did say there were dozens of us doing this and
we were all in the same boat with the loss of starch-filled

So my questions:

    Have you tried the new poly/cotton aqueous coated fabrics? (The
    version that Industrial Coatings Group manufactures is called

    Do you like them?

    Which PVA are you using?

    Do you mix anything with it, and what?

    What other replacement for starch-filled buckram have you found
    that works as well for book repairs such as spine replacements?

I greatly appreciate any feedback you can give.

Ann Frellsen
Preservation Office
Emory University Libraries
Atlanta, GA
Fax: 404-727-0053

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:48
                 Distributed: Monday, November 18, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-48-014
Received on Friday, 15 November, 1996

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