If you have been there before, you will know exactly what I am talking about!
When consolidating the sewing structure of a book, very often the access to the sections’ back folds is not ideal: sometimes the shoulder has a sharp angle, maybe the inner joint is not open enough resulting in limited access. It can be quite time consuming, challenging and sometimes almost impossible to insert your needle from the outside of a selected section through to the middle of it successfully and without causing further damage. However in most cases the opposite journey is much more feasible. For this precise reason, the hypodermic needle can help!
In three easy steps:
1. Insert the hypodermic needle from inside the selected sewing hole through to the back fold of the section…
2 …insert your threaded sewing needle into the hypodermic needle’s hole…
3. …and, pushing the sewing needle into the hypodermic one, use the latter to guide the former back inside the middle of the section…
…et voilà! Job done!
The needles can also be shaped and curved if necessary.
Luckily, these days hypodermic needles are available to us all at a click of a button. They can be bought easily over the Internet and they are available in various lengths and diameters, blunt or not.
Now it’s time to go shopping!
Lara Speroni is a London‐based independent books and archives conservator. She has just embarked on an exciting new project working part-time for the London Metropolitan Archives on an NMCT grant-funded contract. For the next 10 months she will conserve and rehouse a group of important early parchment bindings connected to the Diocese of London. The rest of her week, Lara happily continues to work for Sonja Schwoll in her private conservation studio in South London. E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +44 (0)755 295 2088