Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hana, a Daughter of Japan

This repair had three parts and several challenges. The silk threads had broken at both ends of the book. Although I have done the Noble Binding sewing pattern when making new books, I didn't want to disturb these 112-year-old pages, bound in 1904. The pages would probably have expanded, so then the brocade fabric headcaps wouldn't have fit... and so on. I tied on silk threads and re-sewed just the head and tail sections, tucking the knots into the holes. The folding case had done its job--protecting the book--but was showing the signs of wear. (Also, the red sun and black ravens seemed harsh compared to the delicate and beautiful silk-screened covers.) I replaced missing ribbons, re-made the loops for the bone clasps, and inserted new Moriki hinge strips under the original paper at the joints. Then I made a new slipcase, with an inset photo of the repaired cover.
Repaired book and folding case, with new slipcase. I lined the interior of the folding case with acid-free tracing paper, which protects the fragile silk covers from further acidic deterioration.

Before repair: Folding case with bone fasteners taped to the cover, missing ribbons, and book with frayed silk threads.

The new slipcase protects the restored folding case and displays the clasps. The silk-screened cover of the book is fragile, so the photo inset into the slipcase displays its beauty without extra handling and wear.