This article is about a Morocco binding repair.
I’ve just completed this restoration of an illustrated book on natural history bound in half Morocco.
This attractively bound volume arrived with the back cover detached. The spine was very rubbed and the binding was held together by old sellotape. This useful reference book had definitely seen better days!
The process of repairing a Morocco binding
The first job was to carefully remove the sellotape on both the inside and outside of the covers. This needed to be done without causing further damage to the leather covering around the spine.
Once done, the spine was carefully removed and set aside for re-use. The book was rebacked in morocco to match the original covering material. Raised bands were placed on the spine in the same positions as those on the original. This enabled me to mount the original spine in the correct position over the new spine.
The original spine was then pasted down onto the new leather. Small areas of lost gold tooling were re-tooled to match the original spine decoration. As a result of mounting the spine, much of the lost colour on the original leather was brought out again. Following that process, areas that were still faded were re-stained to match the rest of the leather covering. The inside hinges were repaired with marble paper to match the original marbled endpapers. Finally, a preservative leather dressing was applied to the binding.
This restoration project shows how a Morocco binding repair can bring a damaged book back into good condition. The natural grain of this type of leather helps to mask the join between the old and new.