TemariKai Logo


  Protecting and Preserving Temari Books     

        Most of the Temari books in publication, or even out of print, are high-quality paper-bound. While a durable binding technique, it can eventually give in to wear and tear, especially if it has been previously owned and used. The need to protect, restore and repair them has come up over the years on the TalkTemari discussion group, so sharing the collected ideas is something worthwhile. Needless to say there are as many ideas and preferences for this as there are people, and this is certainly not meant to be an all-inclusive list. They can be applied to books you wish to make more user-friendly to use, protect from regular wear & tear, and/or need to repair.

        Some stitchers find the "reverse layout" of Japanese books something that they can't adjust to. Japanese books are usually published "backwards" to Western style, requiring them to be opened and read right to left as opposed to left to right. If it really confounds you, you can take the book to a service bureau, office supply store or printing service and ask for it to be spiral bound in Western format.  This same idea can be applied to Western-style layout books that you wish to have lay flat when opened, and also make the pages easier to turn. Both Western and Japanese bindings that are glued will also wear and dry out, causing pages to come loose.

        The re-binding will be done by cutting off the  original binding and replace it with the "usual" spiral coil - either plastic or coated wire (most prefer the coated wire, if it's available; it takes less page space gives smoother page turning) on the left-hand side. Consider this option carefully, to see if it affects the overall layout as it can depend on the individual book. Be sure to double check with the people doing the cutting and binding for you to be sure how much margin you will lose on each side or not,  and make your decision accordingly (usually this is not a problem but it's something to be sure about). Check to be sure that you are not losing printed material or diagrams/photos etc along the edges being cut. It's also been noted that if the store requires you to leave your book, it may not be a good idea - try to have it done while you wait, watch, and ok things as they go.

               If you are going to rebind, you can also consider laminating the pages, since the binding will be cut off and the pages loose in the process. There is both heat and self-stick lamination; heat tends to be a heavier grade of plastic. Some people do this for the covers only, which can be a big help in protecting the book. Office stores and educator/teacher stores will do laminating, usually by the linear foot. You can also purchase adhesive laminating sheets or rolls but be aware that getting a piece of lamination flat on an 8 x 10 inch (give or take) page can require more than two hands (seriously). The self-stick laminating can also be applied to book covers that have not been cut apart; use a sheet of lamination that is about an inch larger than needed in each dimension (be sure to measure how much is needed by wrapping around the book with the book closed flat). Apply the laminating sheet to the outer cover, and miter the corners to turn an edge into the inside face of each cover. Trim even with the top of the spine. Again, some extra hands help to get it smoothly applied without air pockets or wrinkles.

       If you need to repair rips, tears, etc., be sure to use archival-quality tape (not cellophane), usually easily available in craft stores. You can also search out library tape. If you are tight on margin space for having a spiral binding put on, you can "extend" the page by running tape sides (extending off the edge of the page) or laminate the page with an extended side so that you have something to "punch" for the binding without going through the actual book page.

       If you've already given the book a good workout, or you purchased it used with wear and tear, there are ways to extend the life. The suggestions offered above can be used. Other ideas include the tried and true ring binder with sheet protectors to hold individual pages. The big advantage to this system is that you can remove the page(s) you wish to work from and easily return them to the book, while still having them protected. Another option is using presentation binders, which are pre-bound "notebooks" consisting of a poly binder and the pages are "sheet protectors" - sleeves that you slide pages into. The pre-bound format is great since you don't have to deal with the extra bulk of a ring binder, and the perform like a well-broken-in paper-bound book (only much more durable). These presentation books can be found in office supply stores, but more often and with a larger selection of sizes, in art supply sources (either brick-and-mortar or online for both). This can work especially well if the binding is already "letting go" and you have loose pages: take apart the rest of the binding and slide the pages into the sleeves of the presentation book (Itoya has styles available up to 200 sleeves).  
This is a TemariKai.com Printable Page; © 2014, all rights reserved. Right click to print one copy for personal use.

Last updated 1/2014 © 1998 - 2014 TemariKai.com, G. Thompson/PuffinStuff, Inc.