PASTE, PAPER AND SEWINGS
Decorated papers and limp bindings taken from historical models - CCC0519


Two days dedicated to decorated papers and the paper binding ‘alla veneziana’, to learn by doing how these papers were made and how they were used to bind ancient books, with techniques that can be reproduced nowadays.
 
Paste papers have been used in bookbinding for over 400 years. Commonly used in Italy, France and especially in Germany, they were made by the binders themselves with the same wheat starch paste used for binding. They became very popular in the 18th-19th century and they are still commonly made in Europe, US etc., both as decorated papers and as art technique, for ex. in making illustrations.
 
This binding, traditionally known as "alla rustica", was widely in use in Venice in the eighteenth century and appreciated for its simplicity, lightness and low cost.
There are many examples of these bindings, sometimes with a simple strip of monochrome paper glued at the spine to hide the sewing supports, and with nice title labels, often handwritten; in some cases the bindings are covered with decorated papers with bright colors, which protect and adorn the cover: marbled, dominotées, or pasted papers.
 
Program
In the first part of the workshop we will make paste papers according to historical models (pattern, recipes, materials) and it will be possible to experiment modern alternatives and easy to find materials. The traditional paste recipe will be shown, such as the available alternatives with modern materials.
 
The papers decorated during the workshop will be used in the second part to create the binding ‘alla veneziana’: the sections, traditionally sewn on alum tawed leather strings, are set up on fine cord or tape of ramie (both less bulky and thick than leather), whose ends are then connected and attached directly to the cover.
This consists of a simple rectangle of a thin soft cotton card, which traditionally is folded inward on all four sides (head, tail and fore edges), to which are glued the endpapers.
Also, it will be possible to make a small mock-up of the structure, in order to keep track for future reference.
 
To whom it is addressed
The workshop is for amateurs and paper and book professionals: calligraphers, illustrators, origamists, but also students, researchers and professionals that look at books for research or conservation: conservators, librarians, antiquarian booksellers, book historians, book conservators and students of these disciplines.
Previous knowledge it is not required: just will to experiment. 
 

PASTE, PAPER AND SEWINGS
Decorated papers and limp bindings taken from historical models - CCC0519

Bookbinding and conservation - Book's learning paths