Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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That part of a hide or skin below the epidermal-dermal junction, consisting of a condensation of fibrous connective tissue which supports blood and lymph vessels, sebaceous and sudoriferous glands, hair follicles and their associated muscles, etc. In the grain layer of the dermis these fibers become very thin and tightly woven, and arc so interlaced that there are no loose ends on the surface beneath the epidermis. Consequently, when the epidermis is carefully removed, a smooth layer is revealed, sometimes known as the hyaline layer, which gives the characteristic grain surface of leather. Toward the center of the dermis (or corium) the fibers are coarser and stronger, and the predominant angle at which they are woven can indicate the properties the resultant leather will display. If the fibers are more upright and tightly woven, a firm, hard leather with little stretch can be expected, while if they are more horizontal and loosely woven, a soft, stretchier leather can be anticipated. The interior of the dermis is generally the strongest part of the skin. (291 , 306 , 363 )

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