Book Dressing for Leather Books

Today a customer asked me how best to care for his leather books.  My answer to this question is usually advising them to get  some book dressing from Talas. The book dressing I use I make myself. (a combination of neatsfoot oil and lanolin).  But this customer was not a dealer or collector.  He just wanted to keep a few non descript leather books in good condition and he didn’t want to order anything special.  “There must be something around the house that I can use?” was his question.

A number of years ago I encounted a book dealer who swore by “CVS hand cream”, “Unscented” he insisted.  A bit unorthodox I thought but I tried it.  I’m not in love with the idea for a number of reasons. But still the idea had some merit.  It takes a bit of extra rubbing to work the white cream, and as a commercial cream it had some merit that I  wouldn’t normally think of on books. But in the absence of anything better it did seem to hydrate the leather.

I think I’ll continue to recomend book dressing but in a pinch I’ll never forget the CVS handcream-unscented.

Charles Videto,


About applefirerestoration

Owner & bookbinder at Applefire Books in Attleboro, MA. Visit our website:
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