Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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grain pattern

The design on the outer surface of leather produced by the arrangement of the hair follicles and pores, characteristic of the species and age of the animals from which the leather is produced. In general, the younger the animal the finer the grain structure. The skin of the female of the species is usually of a finer grain than the male. The less hair or wool there is on the animal the tougher and stronger the leather, especially the grain surface. Because of their durability, uniformity, beauty, and form, grain patterns represent one of the most appealing and highly prized characteristics of leather, and it is for this reason that imitation grains are often embossed on inferior quality leathers and even printed or embossed on other materials, such as cloth and plastic. (291 , 363 )

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