Choices for hardbound books include cloth (in ICG/Holliston's view, the ultimate in appearance and performance), coated saturated papers, coated papers, and uncoated papers. Each is available in many different colors, some with different looks and textures.
Several important factors must be considered when choosing the cover material for the hardbound book. The sum of these will point the book designer in the right direction.
The designer or other decision-maker first goes through a mental exercise evaluating their needs in the areas of look, durability, and cost, weighing each factor for its importance in the specific application.
The use of cloth as the cover material reflects the need for high durability, good value, and the exceptional look and feel only cloth can provide. Again, cloth is the material of choice for many prestigious trade books; for university and professional press; and exquisite coffee table editions.
Cloth products are available in cotton, cotton/synthetic, and rayon constructions. Most selections are available with either an environmentally friendly coating, or a paper backing that aids the casing operation.
The paper backing, or coated cloth back, each serve the function of keeping glue from penetrating from the backside to the frontside of the cover material, creating an unsightly look.
Cloth covering materials also offer the option of a natural finish, which gives the true look of woven fabric, and the tactile feel associated with cloth. When a coated material is chosen, the amount of coating applied can vary from a light coating that allows the characteristic cloth weave to show through, to a fully coated surface.
In fact, when cloth is fully coated and embossed, it can take on the look of leather. ICG/Holliston offers our Kennett brand natural finish cloth, Arrestox and Pearl Linen brands coated cloth, and Sturdite brand leather-look cloth. These represent the full spectrum of coated cloth options and are, quite honestly, the standards of the industry.