Terminology question

GORDON NEAVILL aa3401 at wayne.edu
Sun Jun 16 20:50:29 EDT 2002

I prefer "imitation leather" for the bindings used 1917- 
1928.  The binding material was cloth treated to simulate 
the appearance and texture of leather.  Boni & Liveright 
described the bindings in advertising and on book jackets 
as "limp croft leather."  This ambiguous and apparently made-
up phrase was dropped after April 1925 when the Federal 
Trade Commission issued a cease and desist order prohibiting 
the Modern Library from using the word "leather" in 
connection with its bindings except in combination with 
words like "imitation," "substitute," or "artificial."  

I stand with the Federal Trade Commission.  "Leatherette" is 
unclear.  "Flex" isn't helpful because it applies both to 
imiatation leather and balloon cloth bindings, both of which 
were flexible or at least semi-flexible.  

I prefer "balloon cloth" for the bindings used 1929-spring 


Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
aa3401 at wayne.edu 

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