Alex book restoration

The main task for you to complete at home is to repair with pasted repair tissue. It is good that the tissue strip is longer than necessary. The paste is applied to the main area of the tissue but not the ends. They stay dry making it easy to lift and apply to the section. Use your cutting mat to keep strips even width. Keep the wet line fine,  then gently pull apart with thumb and finger – easy.


Wet brush drawn along tissue to allow it to be torn to an even strips.

Image 2 shows the pasted tissue gently applied to the damaged spine area of the text section. Leave the excess tape there. It is cut off when completely dry.

Paste applied to repair tissue strip

Paste applied to repair tissue strip and gently placed over the damaged spine area. This not only repairs and strengthens the spine area prior to sewing but flattens our the section. Shoulders and spine round are recreated later.

Image 1                                                                                                                         Image 2  Wet brush drawn along tissue to allow it to be torn to an even strip.

Image 2 -These strips are then pasted, gently lifted ad applied to the spine area of the text.

The dry ends are left and the sections are protected by waxed paper, placed under a light weight and left to day thoroughly – over night at least. The excess paper is trimmed off later when completely dry.


Image 3

Pasted tissue applied and protected with waxed paper. Under a light weight and left to dry.

Pasted tissue applied to spine area of section. Protected with waxed paper and left to dry under a light weight.

Original covers requiring some repair work.

Original covers requiring board paper to be removed. Some edge repairing required.


The original covers require both edge repairing and the board paper removed.

Try to remove the board paper by laying very damp cloths on the cover over the board paper. Leave under a light weight for some time – 2 -3 hours. Remove damp cloth and see if the board paper can be torn away. Buckle the covers to loosen areas o paper the then tear then off. When you have done as much as you can this way let it completely dry then gently sand off the remaining paper.

Repair damaged corners by gently prizing apart the layers of board, adding PVA into these areas, squeeze into shape and wipe off excess PVA. Add a fold of waxed paper around corner, add pieces of card and secure with a clip to hold firmly in shape until dry.

A smear if PVA can be wiped along the edges to secure any loose threads.

the final step is to trim off about 5mm of the spine edge of the covers. Gently insert a knife and life up the covering material for about 10 to 15mm plus a gentle cut and  lift of the covering material at the head and tail. this area then allows the new cloth spine piece to be wrapped around and securely adhered to the boards, under the cover.


This is quite enough for you to do before next class.  I hope you find my blog helpful and easy to use.

You can ask questions of course via this blog.

Date: 21 May 2021

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