Shortly after I started in the Preservation Department back in October 1997 I found a book cloth in the lab that we could use for book repair. It was called Bonded Leather Book Cloth and we had it in two colors-black and burgundy. It had that “leather” look to it and when we had books that needed repaired, this product made the repairs look really nice and blended well with the books. Over the years I have used this particular book cloth many times with no fail until recently.
As you can see the black book cloth now tears very easily.
I went to the stacks to see what had happened to some of the books I remembered repairing with it. I found two Iowa State University yearbooks, the BOMB dated 1941 and 1947, where I had used the burgundy book cloth.
I had visions of books falling apart and needing to be repaired again. To my surprise the burgundy book cloth was still holding up fairly well and just needed minor repairs.
Now is the time to dispose of this book cloth as it can no longer be used for book repairs. If you have a supply of this book cloth and have had it on the shelf for some time you may want to check its quality now to see if it will still hold up to book repairs.