Lexicon of Bookbinding

All the important terms from A to Z

| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y
  • Finishing tool that produces lines or long, narrow decorative strips used on spines. A name pallet impresses the binder's name on a signed binding.

  • See carton

  • Sheep or goatskin (with the hair removed) that has been split, soaked, limed and dried under tension, not tanned like leather.

  • Parchmentis next to one of the finest leather cover materials. Especially in the 16th and 17 Century, it was mostly used for covers of books and records. Its advantages are extraordinary strength and resilience, which explains its popularity as a material for Gebrauchseinbände and Koperte. Today usually comes only with the restorer parchment as upholstery in contact.

  • The process of thinning leather.

  • See endpapers.

  • The technical term for printing the second or reverse side of a sheet.

  • See album

  • A test of bookbinding leathers to ascertain that they are free from injurious acids. It was instigated by the Printing Industries Research Association, and leather which has passed this test should bear the letters PIRA. Not universally regarded as authoritative, however.

  • Lines or marks drawn on one material to assist in positioning another material onto it quickly and accurately, especially when glue is used.

  • Diagrams and illustrations printed on different paper from the text and bound either with the text or tipped in as separate leaves or sections.

  • Term used to describe decorative motifs outlined with dots.

  • The preliminary pages of a book, comprising the half-title page, the frontispiece, the title page, the imprint page, the contents page and any other pages up to the beginning of the main text. They often form the first section. In old books these pages are usually numbered with Roman numerals.

  • Freeing the sections of a book from the original binding, in preparation for rebinding.

Letter p