Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/172

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extent, rot or destroy the leather; but if leather is used it will always retain both colour and texture. To choose the proper colours that will harmonize with the ground, give tone, and produce a pleasing effect, requires a certain amount of study. Morocco is the leather generally used, but in Vienna calf has been used with very good results. If the pattern to be inlaid be very small, steel punches of the exact shape of the tools are used to punch or cut out the patterns required. To do this, work the pattern in blind on the side of the book; take morocco of a different colour to the ground it is required to decorate, and pare it down as thin as possible. Lay it on a slab of lead. Lead is better than anything else on account of its softness; the marks made by the punch can always be beaten out again, and when quite used up it may be re-melted and run out anew. Now take the steel punch of an exact facsimile of the tool used that is to be inlaid, and punch out from the leather the required number. These are to be pasted and laid very carefully on the exact spot made by the blind-tooling; press each down well into the leather, either with a folding-stick or the fingers, so that it adheres properly. When dry, the book should be pressed between polished plates, in order that the pieces that have been laid on, may be pressed well into the ground leather. When it has been pressed, the whole of the leather must be prepared as for morocco, and finished in gold. The tools in the working will hide all the edges of the various inlaid pieces, provided they are laid on exactly.

If interlacing bands are to be of various colours, the bands must be cut out. Pare the leather thin, and after working the pattern through the paper on to the sides of the book, lay it on the thinly pared leather; with a very sharp and pointed knife cut through the paper and leather together on a soft board. Or the design may be worked or drawn on a thin board, and the various bands cut out