Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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limp vellum cover attached by tackets / blankbook spine reinforced by tackets

A method originally employed in non-adhesive binding to secure the section (or sections) and covers of limp vellum bindings. The technique was later used to secure the loose, jacketlike cover to the text block of some bindings, and, from late medieval times, as a method of decorating the covers of stationery bindings. Tacketing in one form or another dates back to at least the early 12th century. In the past 100 years or so, tacketing has been used to reinforce the sewing of large blankbooks. The tackets are secured around the folio, webbing, and clothings of the spine. In this latter use, it was restricted to the better grades of stationery bindings. Over a period of some 800 years, therefore. tacketing has evolved from a method of constructing a bookbinding to a method of reinforcing and decorating the spine and covers of a book.

Early tacketing involved punching two holes through the center fold of each section, as well as the vellum cover, about 1/2 to 3/J inch apart. The ends of a strip of vellum, gut, or leather lacing were passed through the holes from the inside, wound around each other and knotted at each end. When tacketing stationery bindings, the holes were punched through the sections, the cover, and the bands, and then wound around each other. Those stationery bindings having spring-backs were tacketed to help secure the folios to the clothings on the spine, or, if webbing were used, the folios, webbings and clothings.

When tacketing is employed in modern-day stationery binding, the tackets, which are usually made of catgut, are used at each webbing, but only on the first and last three folios. (99 , 236 , 343 )

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