Gilt edging for books
The term ‘book edge’ describes the three cut sides of a book. With gild edging, these three sides are gilded with real gold leaf over several steps.
The classic method for embellishing book edges is the poliment technique. For this method, the book is firmly clamped in a book press and then sparingly smeared with a thin glue remover at the cut. Two additional thin layers of poliment then act as a polishing base and a substrate for the gold leaf. The dried poliment layers are carefully moistened, bit by bit, with a mixture of spirit and water, and immediately covered with the gold leaf. Gilders speak of “laying” the gold leaf. After drying, the gold leaf surface is polished with an agate polishing stone. The result is a shining, gilded, book cut.
Opening the gilded pages is very easy. Simply remove the book from the press, carefully roll the pages in the hands, and allow them to run through the fingers. The layers of glue, poliment and gold leaf break apart, separating the individual pages again. Close the book again and you will see a perfectly gilded edge.
The technique of oil gilding can also be used for gilt edges. To do this, clamp the book in the press and lightly coat the book edge twice with thin shellac solution. Allow each application of shellac to dry completely. Now carefully coat the book edge with diluted contact oil/Mixtion Lefranc and remove with a cloth. Wait for the Mixtion to dry before gilding, wiping and polishing. Gilding is possible with loose gold leaf, but also with transfer gold. Remove the book from the press and separate the pages as described above.