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I am getting into book binding, and want to try binding something with faux leather. However, I want to bump up the quality of the binding, and don't want to use cardboard as a backbone in holding the faux together.

I was wondering about a material that I could use in its place. I was thinking possibly Solid Bleach Board, or chipboard. I do like the look of chipboard, though i'm worried it may be too rigid.

Are there any types of cardboard that are simply loosely compressed, and uncorrugated?

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I would strongly consider what is usually used for covers in these types of books. Hardboard or millboard. They are both similar materials that I would suggest for this. Unfortunately their names are sometimes used interchangeably so I would like to clarify a little what they are. Then you should be able to make a informed choice.

Millboard is what you would find if you were to take a simple binder or traditional hardcover book apart. It is also heavier than millboard so keep that in mind. Side Note: Doing just that is a great way to get perfectly sized materials!

Hardboard is, like its name suggests, a very hard rigid and dense board. It is similar to both MDF and particle board. These come in thin sheets that would be perfect for binding. I talk about hardboard a little more over at Woodworking.SE

I would lean towards millboard as it is more forgiving to bending than hardboard. Hardboard will hardly move at all. Both are perfectly adequate for binding leather. I have made 5 books that were leather bound.

However, I want to bump up the quality of the binding

If you wanted to do something else to bump up your game I would suggest using actual leather for you book covers. It is really easy to come by if you are no picky about colours. Local secondhand stores are usually where I source my leathers. Jackets might be tempting for their size but they are usually too expensive. Skirts are the best best at being both cheap and containing large enough swatches to cover your book panels.

  • I'm interested in your last statement. What kind of stores do you go to? thrift shops, or other places? what items usually have good, usable, leather? what is the color? is is vege-tanned, or dark hide? – tuskiomi Sep 7 '16 at 13:59
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    I have not tested if the leather I get is veg tanned. I suspect its not given the clothing. Thrifts shops yes. I don't know where you are located or what you have available in your area but thrift shop should mean something to you. Colour varies with availability. Black is common but I have gotten greys and reds before. Not familiar with the term dark hide. – Matt Sep 7 '16 at 14:16

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