Graining is now used very much on calf books. This may be properly considered as a blind ornament. It is done by means of copper or wooden plates cut out in various patterns, so as to form small squares, scales of fish, or an imitation of morocco. Place the volume between 2 of these plates even up to the groove of the back, in the standing press; screw it tightly down. The impressions should be equal over the whole surface. Nothing looks worse than a bold impression in one place and a slight one in another, so that it is rather important that it be evenly pressed; a second application of the plates is impracticable. Graining has the advantage of hiding any finger marks that may accidentally be on the calf, and conceals any imperfections in the leather.
The state of the weather must in a great measure guide the finisher as to the number of volumes to prepare at one time. The leather should always be a little moist, or rather "fresh." In winter, double the number of books may be prepared, and the gold laid on, than the dryness of a summer's day will admit of. If books are laid on overnight, the tools must be used very hot in working them the next morning, or the gold will not adhere. During summer, flies will eat the glaire from various places while the book is lying or standing out to dry, so that constant vigilance must be kept to avoid these pests. Russia leather is prepared in the same way as calf, but is usually worked with more blind tools than with gold, and the sides are not as a rule polished, so that the size and glaire are dispensed with, except on those parts where it is to be finished in gold; and those portions need be only paste-washed and glaired once without any size.