Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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flexible glue

Generally, an ordinary animal glue containing GLYCEROL or SORBITOL , the softening effect of the latter supposedly lasting longer than the former. These softening agents, or "humectants," are hygroscopic and may, under certain conditions, absorb so much moisture as to promote the growth of mold; consequently a mold inhibitor is generally included in the plasticizer.

The origin of "flexible" animal glues is unknown, but they were certainly in use since early in the 20th century. Their use in bookbinding, however, has declined sharply in recent years in favor ofINTERNALLY PLASTICIZED synthetic adhesives, such as the RESINOUS ADHESIVES . (198 , 236 )

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