Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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cutch

1. A packet of leaves in which thinly rolled and cut gold is first beaten in the manufacture of gold leaf. After the gold is rolled to a thickness of 0.001 inch and 1 1/4 inches wide, it is then cut into 1 1/4 inch squares. Two hundred ninety of these sheets are interleaved with 4 1/2 inch squares of vellum or paper, forming the "cutch," which is secured with heavy bands of parchment. The name derives from the Latin calcare, to tread. See also: GOLD LEAF ;MOLD (2) ;SHODER . 2. A vegetable tannin obtained from the heartwood of Acacia catechu, a tree distributed widely throughout the Indian Subcontinent and adjoining areas. Cutch consists principally of catechutannic acid (25-35%), catechin (2-10%), quercetin, and catechu red. When used alone, it produces a harsh leather, which often has an undesirable yellow color. Although it has been used as a tanning material to some extent, particularly in England and Italy, the term "cutch" is better known as a tannin prepared from the bark of MANGROVE trees. See also: VEGETABLE TANNINS .

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