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The process of shaping the spine with a hammer to make 90-degree backing shoulders for the boards had left the spine-folds of the quires badly distorted.  

 

 in this case, the distortion has led to tight hard pleats forming in the spine-fold.

More damage inflicted with a hammer: in this case, the distortion has led to tight hard pleats forming in the spine-fold.
 

Before repairs could be carried out to the torn sewing holes this distortion had to be removed by gentle humidification with narrow strips of damp blotting paper, protected from direct contact with the parchment by a non-woven polyester barrier layer.  This system allows water vapour to soften the parchment slightly until it can be reshaped around folds of dry blotter to dry flat. The same technique was used to remove pleats in leaves. 

 

Diagram showing the method of drying humidified bifolia in a folded format.

Diagram showing the method of drying humidified bifolia in a folded format.

 

 

‘Suction pleats’ can form in leaves when the book is closed carelessly and the leaves become creased.