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Subject: Publisher's bookcloth

Publisher's bookcloth

From: Joel Spector <jms>
Date: Friday, June 16, 2000
Our company has been contracted to produce 375 facsimile bindings of
the 1907 limited edition of Robert Scott's South Polar Times, the
personal journal of his attempt to cross Antarctica. The edition is
case bound in full cloth with what we suspect is probably a
'T-grain' bookcloth produced by Winterbottom sometime between the
turn of the last century and, say, 1915. The cloth, which is in
excellent condition, is a very somber 'midnight' blue---an embossed
'rib' pattern, used vertically, with about 37 lines per inch.

For what it's worth, according to the ISCC-NBS system for the
description of color, from the U.S. National Bureau of Standards,
the cloth might be described thusly:

    Hue: Blue
    Lightness: Dark
    Neutral Shades: Blackish
    Saturation: Strong
    Lightness and Saturation: Deep [=dark, strong]

Reviewing our options, we feel that, the artifactual value aside, it
is unlikely that this cloth, if it still exists at all, could be
found in quantities sufficient to our needs. Even if we were to find
a supply, the expense would more than likely be prohibitive. And
that, as I have said, is aside from its obvious value as cultural
and industrial artifact.

Does anyone have knowledge of collections, or of specialized textile
producers, who may have bookcloth or similar embossing machinery,
and/or dandy rolls in the above-mentioned pattern, or who may have
the technical knowledge and means to reproduce such a pattern?  We
are aware of some commercial bookcloth producers whose product-lines
include filled cloths which might be used to this end, should the
appropriate color be found or specially made-up. What would then
remain for us is to locate an efficient means of embossing the

Any thoughts, information or advice from textile and other
conservation professionals would be greatly appreciated.

Joel Spector
Hollow Woods Bookbinding and Conservation Services
139 Hollow Woods Rd.
Peacham, VT 05862

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:1
                   Distributed: Monday, June 19, 2000
                        Message Id: cdl-14-1-028
Received on Friday, 16 June, 2000

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