Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Russia leather

A more-or-less obsolete trade name originally applied to a shaved cowhide, and later calfskin, horse hide, goat skin, or sheepskin, vegetable-tanned with tannins obtained from willow and other barks, curried on the flesh side with a mixture containing birch-bark extract to give it its characteristic odor, and dyed black and in colors other than the original red or reddish brown. Russia leather (or imitation Russia calf) was produced as early as the 17th century. Its use as a bookbinding leather in the 20th century has been mainly for BANDING blankbooks. (94 , 172 , 264 )

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