Services‎ > ‎


Karen Vidler is a qualified and trained Professional Bookbinder. She completed a Fine Bookbinding and Paper Conservation Diploma at Guildford College (1999-2001) and did further intern training with Master Bookbinder, Stephen Conway, Conways of Halifax, in large edition bookbinding and box making. She combines knowledge of historic binding structures, and skills and knowledge in bookbinding and conservation techniques when undertaken period rebinding work. Any period rebinding is completed after research into the materials and structure used to created each book block or text block and binding and only with the agreement of the customer.

Period Rebinding - 18thC Islamic Qur'an MS


Before: Limited information was known about this MS. From client research it was dated c.1750 and could have been made in North Africa or Eastern Europe

Before: MS came into the bindery without covers and the text was incomplete. Evidence of binding structure could only be gained by a systematic examination of the paper, media, sewing remains and fragments of material found in the text

During: Visual examination revealed evidence of worked chevron endbands in blue and white linen thread sewn through a textile lining.  Fragments of the same textile lining was attached to the section back folds. Pierced holes for two sewing stations and later 4 holes for current degraded sewing

During: 200x Dynolite microscope examination of the fragments located in many of the gutters revealed evidence of blue and yellow paste paper (above), vegetable tanned leather dyed red, gold thread and more coarse textile.

After: Completed Paper Conservation: Mechanical cleaning with a soft brush; Heat Set Tissue repairs (see below)  to 35 verdigris damaged text border; Toned Paper Nao K38 Japanese paper repairs to 80 folios; Guarded 30 folios with K37 Japanese repair paper; Infilled insect damage to 10 leaves with toned K38 repair paper. All repairs adhered with Methyl Cellulose (5%) in deionised water

After: Completed rebinding: Cover was not fully attached to indicate the MS was not complete. Evidence suggested at-least two folios had been torn from the front section and 1 bifolium from the back of the last section.

After: Front cover is a simple cover with an unlined spine in red Harmatan Fine goatskin with single blind tooled border on the front

After: Rebound book and bespoke drop-back box covered in red Arbelave cloth. Some leaves had interleaving of Silversafe paper as barriers from verdigris damage

Karen worked with Emily Keppel (Intern 2015-16) on this project. Emily completed the Heat Set Tissue repairs using Bib Tengujo 12gsm tissue coated with 60%/40% solution of Lascaux 498HV in Ethanol (99%). Repairs applied with a fine tip tacking iron through silicone release paper. We hope the completed paper conservation and rebinding based on the evidence has honoured the remains of this significant MS.