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Pease Bindery
111 Oakcreek Drive
Lincoln, NE 68528
Phone: (402) 476-1303
Fax: (402) 476-2978



Leather Cover Planning

Leather covers, ideal for upscale products like the desk calendar shown above, require effective planning for timely and efficient production.

When looking for an upscale cover option, many designers gravitate toward the appearance of genuine leather. Yearly planners, photography collections and other image-critical book products are candidates for genuine leather covers, which are available in a wide range of thicknesses and finishes. One of the advantages of this natural product is that no two covers are identical, and the leather itself can vary in thickness over a single piece. Here are some considerations when planning a book for leather covers:

Europe vs. US
Though cover-grade leathers are available in the United States, the majority of book leather products are imported from Europe. This can require significant lead time - up to six weeks for custom-ordered material - to locate and ship the product. European leathers are often available pre-cut in standard sizes, but atypical measurements can delay production.

Leather purchased in the United States is typically sold in "sides", which refers to the actual side of the animal from which the leather was removed. These can vary in size and quality, and are typically cut to size by your finisher using a knife or razor blade and a chipboard pattern that matches your exact cover size. While the lead times are shorter, this process can result in a large portion of unused material.

In either case, the product will need to be "skived", which is a process of beveling the edges with special tools. This labor-intensive manual operation flattens the edges, which are about 1.2 mm thick on average, enabling your finisher to turn the leather over the binder board efficiently and without creating excess bulk on the corners.

A Bonded Alternative
Bonded leather covers are a more economical alternative to genuine leather for many products. Bonded leathers are made from reshaped hide scraps, then stamped with a leather pattern. Bonded leathers possess much of the appearance and feel of genuine leather, and often at a fraction of the cost. While some high-end products truly call for a genuine leather cover, let Pease Bindery help you determine if bonded leather is an appropriate alternative.

Materials tip: Leather is among the thickest and heaviest cover materials available, and will require very sturdy endsheets, even for book products without exceptional bulk. Pease Bindery recommends endsheets of up to 80 lb cover weight for leather-bound books, but consult with our production team to determine what stock is appropriate for your project.

The Pease Bindery Advantage
At Pease Bindery, we work with our customers to determine what book cover solutions are appropriate for their unique projects. In addition to genuine and bonded leather, we offer book cloth, papers, padded covers and even some plastics to use as cover wraps. Regardless of which material you choose, trust Pease Bindery to help you create durable, attractive books that exceed your expectations

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