Researching into buckram book covers, particularly when combined with print finishes such as debossing and foil blocking. Ideally, I would have loved to have printed and debossed onto buckram for a high-end print finish for my programme/mailshot books (I could still consider mocking it up) for my Wes Anderson hypothetical film festival (information of which can be found on my Design Practice blog) though time constraints really affect my ability to do this, unfortunately. The information below explains buckram in a little bit more detail, and will be a good resource for any potential future designs.
Buckram is a stiff cloth, made of cotton, and still occasionally linen, which is used to cover and protect books. Buckram can also be used to stiffen clothes. Modern buckrams have been stiffened by soaking in a substance, usually now pyroxylin, to fill the gaps between the fibres.
In the Middle Ages, "bokeram" was fine cotton cloth, not stiff. The etymology of the term is uncertain; the commonly mentioned derivation from Bokhara is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, uncertain.
Millinery buckram is different from bookbinding buckram. It is impregnated with a starch, which allows it to be softened in water, pulled over a hat block, and left to dry into a hard shape. White buckram is most commonly used in hatmaking, though black is available as well. Millinery buckram comes in three weights: baby buckram (often used for children's and dolls' hats), single-ply buckram, and double buckram (also known as "theatrical crown").
American-made Buckram book cloth is a poly-cotton base cloth coated in aqueous acrylic. It was designed to withstand heavy use in Libraries and offers incredible strength, moisture resistance and mildew resistance. Buckram is available in different grades. LBS offers F grade Buckram for Library Binding and E grade with a linen-look for conservation purposes.
In the US, F grade buckram is offered in 15 glossy colors. It meets specifications for use in textbooks [Manufacturing Standards and Specifications for Textbooks as developed by NASTA (National Association of State Textbook Administrators) in consultation with the AAP (Association of American Publishers) and the BMI (Book Manufacturers' Institute)] and exceeds performance specifications for Library Binding [ANSI/NISO/LBI Z39.78-2000].
LBS Linen Buckram is offered in 5 traditional colors manufactured with a linen-look and a matte finish. It is an E grade book cloth that exceeds ANSI for group E cover materials.
Both grades are suitable for Reference Books, Hymnals, Textbooks, Albums, Looseleaf Binders, Menus and other editions that require an extra level of protection.
Some great examples of buckram covers- love the subtle detailing that the deboss provides in combination with the canvas-like book material covering.