Thursday, October 28, 2010

Witches & Zombies & Book Blocks, OH MY!

Sure, witches, warlocks, ghosts and zombies are scary this season...

but you know what's really scary?
How easily you can case in your own book block!

All you will need to do is follow these 10 steps to bookbinding bliss.

PVA Adhesive: Jade 403
Glue Brush
Mull / Super / Tarlatan (one in the same)
Bone Folder or Burnisher
Kraft Paper
Scalpel & Blades
Binder's Board
Covering Material

and of course... your book block!

1. Place the book block between backing boards, a securing vice, or just between your knees. Using your glue brush, liberally apply Jade to the spine of your block. Take your Supercloth, and adhere the center along the spine. Burnish with your bone folder. Now, cover the supercloth with a strip of Kraft paper (cut to the width of the spine), and burnish again - making sure it is secured in place.

2. Place your cover material face down on a sheet of scrap paper or newsprint. Glue the entire back side of your cover material - make sure not to miss the edges and corners!

TIP: Always start from the center & work out to avoid rips, folds, or creases to your material. Work Quickly as Jade dries fast. If you'd like to slow down the drying time - try adding wheat paste or methyl cellulose to your Jade for added drying time.

Cut a “center guide” out of scrap - to calculate: add the block height + at least twice the board thickness. Eye or generally gauge the center of the material & place your “center guide.” Now, butt your center boards up to the center guide making sure the top & bottom margins are the same size. Once the boards are down, remove the center guide.

4. Center a second strip of Kraft Paper (same width as your spine) between the boards.
(this is where your spine will go)

5. Now it’s time to trim the corners of your material. Gauging how much to trim can be tricky – but a proper amount to leave extending beyond the corner of the boards is just over the thickness of the boards. Cut at a 45degree angle.
6. Long sides always get folded first. Take your bonefolder and tease the material up – burnishing flat along the edge of the boards. Continue flattening the material to the inside of the boards. Pinch in the corners with your fingernail.

Now fold in the short sides (using the same method as above).

TIP: If you find that your glue is drying out – don’t be afraid to reapply in specific areas. Just be careful to not add to much as to avoid pooling when burnished.

7. Leave to dry under weight for several hours, or as long as you’d like. This will help ensure that your boards do not buckle or curl.

8. Now it’s time to place the book block into the cover. Holding the book inside of its jacket – knock it back against a hard surface to make sure it’s fully in place.

9. Once your block is in place (make sure there is an even extension on the top and bottom) take a sheet of your scrap paper and place it behind the first page in your diary block. Now take your brush and apply a coating of Jade across the whole end page.

TIP: Make sure to completely cover Supercloth as this will act as the chief means of support between the block & case.

Shut the cover, and apply pressure.

Now very carefully, hold the book & case in place and flip.
Repeat the same gluing process on this side.

10. Leave your book to dry under weight - preferably overnight to help ensure flatness and to prevent your boards from curling.

you have finished your own book block!

See, that wasn't so scary!!

Like this tutorial?
Download a copy here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Texlifil Bookcloth

Fall has arrived, but summer has sprung at Talas
with our newest bookcloth addition:


This line of paper backed bookcloth has a vibrant range of colors reminiscent of Provence, and is manufactured in France. It has a wonderful sheen and feel, for an elegant high end look.

Do you like working with Iris or Cialux?
Well Texlifil has similar characteristics in 11 eye-catching colors!

The cloth is easy to work with, and can be silk screened, foil stamped, and blind stamped. Excellent for books, boxes, journals, albums and other book and packaging applications.

Don't let winter blues get you down...
Spice up this Autumn with this new line of summery, bright & cheerful Texlifil!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guild of Bookworkers: 2010 Standards of Excellence

Yep, it was that time of the year again...

Autumn arrives and bookbinders from all over the world converge at this much anticipated annual Standards of Excellence meeting.

This year the 3 day long meeting took place in sunny, dry Tucson Arizona.
(certainly a nice change of pace from cold & rainy NY)

As always, the board assembled an impressive lineup of presenters, including:

Michael Burke (Byzantine Binding)
Nancy Ruth Leavitt (In Search of Content, the Joys & Challenges of Creating the Book Form)
Martha Little (Book Forensics: Interpreting Evidence of Structure)
Jeffrey Peachey (Late Eighteenth Century French Binding Structures)

And also, as always, Talas, along with various other vendors exhibited some our goods. The vendor rooms were first only opened to participants, and later to the public & all book enthusiasts alike.

To the left is a view of what our booth looked like.

We were extremely excited to begin circulation of our newest Talas catalog, and not to mention share a number of new products with all of this years attendees!

More pictures (hopefully) to come soon!

But we'll leave you with this cheery photo taken in
in the backyard of Starr Bindery.

Have some photos from the week in Tucson that you'd like to share on our blog?

Email them to

Friday, October 8, 2010

Alran Goatskin

Just when you thought we've introduced enough products
in the month of September...

September ends and October arrives,
which means time for some more new stuff...

Enter: Alran Goatskins

Our newest line of of full-vegetable tanned & aniline dyed goatskins from France.

These skins have a genuine grain and a soft touch.
Their finishing is well adapted to wet works, gold decoration, fillet wheels and titling, among other uses.

The skins are hand boarded 4 times providing a sought after small & round grain.

We are extremely excited to introduce this new high quality but extremely reasonably priced goatskin to our collection of leather & we hope that you are equally as excited!

Available in 11 colors:
Get your Sample Book, or the real deal today
and see what all the rage is about for yourself!

(click on the image above to enlarge and to better see grain pattern)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sturgeon Glue

After its long hiatus... Sturgeon Glue is back again!

It was a long and tiresome journey, but we are pleased to announce that we now have our very own Fish & Wildlife Permit, and are able to successfully import this product into the states!

Please see our website HERE for more information & ordering details.