Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/176

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different preparation than morocco, on account of its soft and absorbing nature. As a foundation or groundwork, paste of different degrees of strength is used, according to the various work required.

Calf books have generally a morocco lettering piece of a different colour to the calf on the back for the title. This is, however, optional, and may or may not be used, according to taste. Leather lettering pieces have a great tendency to peel off, especially if the book be exposed to a hot atmosphere, or if the paste has been badly made, so that it is perhaps better if the calf itself be lettered. There is no doubt that a better effect is produced in a bookcase when a good assortment of coloured lettering pieces are placed on the variously coloured backs, and the titles can be more easily read than if they were upon light or sprinkled calf; but where wear and tear have to be studied, as in public libraries, a volume should not have any lettering pieces. All such books should be lettered on their natural ground.

For lettering pieces, take morocco[1] of any colour, according to fancy, and having wetted it to facilitate the work, pare it down as thin and as evenly as possible. Cut it to size of the panel or space it is intended to fit. When cut truly, pare the edges all round, paste it well, put it on the place and rub well down. Should the book require two pieces—or one for the title, and one for the volume or contents—it is better to vary the colours. I must caution the workman not to allow the leather to come over on to the joint, as by the frequent opening or moving of the boards the edge of the leather will become loose. A very good plan as a substitute for lettering pieces is to colour the calf either dark brown or black, thus saving the leather at the expense of a little more time. When the lettering

  1. Other leathers are often used instead of morocco, even paper; in fact a specially prepared paper is largely sold in Germany for this purpose.