Book restoration

(9 Posts)
shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 12:20:28

I really fancy getting into this.

I have a set of old leather books coming that are in a bit of a state. They were bought from a charity shop, and they are an edition I really want to own. So even if they arrive and are in a sorry way, it will still be a donation to a good cause and something I will love and treasure.

However, they are in a lovely leather binding from the late 1820s/early 1830s. Spines and stitchwork look intact and the books look generally tight (they haven't arrived yet so I'm not 100% sure). However, it looks a bit like some disrespectful, philistine idiot has used them as a dustsheet while decorating, so there are splashes of what looks like paint on the covers. (Yes, really). Binding is full leather, so I'm hoping I can find something that removes the stain without damaging the book itself.

Don't worry - I am not going to go splashing household products on them! I intend to get some advice (paid) from an actual conservator, but I can't afford to have the whole set restored and I quite fancy doing it myself if I can.

Is there anyone else interested in conservation/restoration work of this kind?

OP’s posts: |
Footle Mon 22-Aug-16 12:22:50

There are quite a few adult education classes on book restoration, depending on your area of course. I know someone near Brighton.

shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 12:37:02

I'm in Sheffield, unfortunately! Would love to do a course!

OP’s posts: |
Banana99 Mon 22-Aug-16 12:39:56

There are lots of book restoration courses around, try asking at your local archives as a starting point.

shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 13:02:08

Thanks so much for the advice - I found a workshop near me for £65, and plan to go later in September!

OP’s posts: |
Footle Mon 22-Aug-16 13:29:54

That's great - you'll have fun, a new skill, and a beautiful set of books. And you're inspiring me to do a class too, up North of you.

shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 13:32:47

Ok, silly question, but: I've never done a class like this before.

I feel kind of nervous about it. I've emailed the woman who organises it to ask whether my project is appropriate, just in case.

I worry that I will be no good at it, or mess up and hold everyone back. There is a place that does sewing lessons just up the road from me and I've never dared go in and ask about joining in. I just walk by pretending I am looking in the window but really trying to pluck up courage to go in.

OP’s posts: |
Banana99 Mon 22-Aug-16 15:37:11

It'll be fine, these classes are usually casual and about you working on personal projects. It just might be a bit advanced to start with so you may do some easy pieces to start

Footle Mon 22-Aug-16 16:44:32

It sounds totally appropriate, and she'd be a bit daft ( as would the sewing lady )not to cater for beginners !

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