Pressing techniques can significantly impact a book's grade — both positively and negatively. This month's article covers flaring.
Since pressing has received greater visibility in the last few years, the need for education in the market is more important than ever. How an individual presses a book can significantly impact a grade, both positively and negatively. If improperly applied, a pressing technique may damage or even ruin a book. Thus, it is important for the community to understand CGC’s standards for grading books that reflect signs of improper pressing, to encourage methods that best protect the integrity of the book. CGC takes very seriously the impact pressing may have on an individual book, as well as on the hobby as a whole.
Some of the side effects of improper pressing include staining, warping, edge rippling, crushed spines, reverse spine-roll, flaring / butterfly, cockling, pebbling, gloss stains and melted inks. Each month, this column will cover one particular defect caused by improper pressing.
The term “flaring” or “butterfly corners" refers to when the front and / or back cover fans out from the book, which can be identified by holding the book up by its spine and waiting several seconds. There are varying degrees of flaring, ranging from a small flare less than an inch from the interior to more severe flaring like the one pictured. In severe cases, the interior pages may also flare, or the cover may curl up while the book is lying on a flat surface.
Flaring can be caused by a number of factors, including overexposure to humidity or excessive heat. It’s a common side effect of crude or aggressive pressing, but can be corrected with a proper pressing most of the time.
Read last month's article on warping.
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