VELLUM BINDING, as was before observed, is the term applied to the binding of every species of account book. The first step is to fold and count the paper into sections, which in foolscap generally consists of six sheets ; above that size, of four sheets, which are sewed upon strips of vellum. Small books, up to foolscap folio, usually have three strips ; above that size the number is increased. Account books are sewed much in the same way as printed books, except that vellum slips are used in lieu of the cords, and a much stronger thread and wax are employed. After sewing, the first ruled leaf at each end is pasted to the waste paper, and the marble paper lining introduced ; the back is then glued in the usual manner. When the glue is dry, the fore-edge of the book is cut, and the back rounded, a deeper hollow and rounder back being formed in account books than in printed ones. The two ends are then cut, and the edges marbled. The head-bands are worked on a slip of stout board, as before described, care being taken in this instance to form a deep narrow, rather than a round band. Strong pieces of canvass or buckram are then glued at the top and bottom of the back, and between each of the vellum slips. A hollow back is prepared by taking a slip of milled board, about a quarter of an inch wider than the back of the book, and soaking it in water ; it is then glued on both sides, and left in this state for about ten minutes : having been laid on a sheet of paper, a roller corresponding in dimension with the back of the book is placed upon it, and the whole worked backward and forward on the roller, which gives the milled board a semicircular shape ; it is then dried hard before the fire. Another method, which is a very good one, and frequently adopted, consists in taking a roller (an assortment of the most useful sizes being kept for the purpose), and winding round it thick paper and wrappers well pasted, until the requisite thickness is obtained ; the roll is then thoroughly dried and divided longitudinally, which forms two good firm semicircular backs. Milled boards of a thickness proportionate to the size of the book are then taken, and the fly-leaf of the book being pasted, the board is laid on in its proper place ; the same course is also pursued with the other side. It is customary with
large books to use two thin boards pasted together, instead of one thick one : in this case the vellum slips on which the book is sewn, are inserted between them, which adds greatly to the strength of the binding. After the boards have been squared, the back, formed in the manner described above, exactly fitting the back of the book, is placed upon it, and a piece of canvass being cut suffi ciently large to extend half the width of the back on one side of the book to the same distance on the other side, is glued on the boards and over the back, which contributes to strengthen the book, and hold the hollow back firmly in its place. The back is sometimes formed of sheet iron, which, in large books, is an improvement : this kind of back was first introduced by Mr. John Williams, who took out a patent for his invention. The book is now ready for covering : the leather for the cover is carefully pared all round, and put on as before described under the head of Bookbinding. The covers mostly used by vellum binders are forril and vellum, white and coloured ; smooth and rough calf and sheep ; basil, smooth and grained, and Russia ; in any of which books may be either whole or half-bound. Forril and vellum covers are lined with paper and pressed smooth ; when dry, they are fitted on the back, and creased in the joints ; the boards are then pasted, and the covers pressed on them; when dry, the edges of the cover are pasted and turned in, and the book again pressed ; the cover is then washed with a sponge and paste-water, and then ruled off. If the cover is rough calf or sheep, it is dressed with pumice-stone and a clothes brush. Smooth calf, basil, &c. are glaired and polished as described in book binding. Rough calf books are usually ornamented by passing a roller round the edges and sides of the cover, with sometimes an ornament added ; for this purpose, the tools must be used nearly red hot. To increase the strength of large books, they sometimes have, in addition to the leather or vellum cover, bands of Russia leather, which ar worked on with thongs of vellum, and give the book a very neat appearance. The lettering of account books is precisely the same as before described.