Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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marbling size

The gelatinous liquid upon which the marbling colors are dropped and formed into patterns. GUM TRAGACANTH over the years has been the most frequently and successfully used marbling size gum, but other gums and substances have also been used with varying degrees of success, including CARRAGHEEN MOSS ,IRISH MOSS , FLEA SEED , and even LINSEED OIL . The last, however, was very seldom used because, although it is easier and more economical to prepare, it deteriorates quickly. Flea seed is stronger and lasts longer but it is of little use in the nonpareil and other combed patterns because the colors are dragged off by the comb. Carragheen moss, which was first used sometime after the middle of the 19th century, is still popular; however. it quickly decomposes unless a preservative such as sodium sulfate. glycerin and water, or formalin is added. (217 , 264 )

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