The Hay Binders


  • Repairs to leather and cloth bindings.
  • Rebinding in period styles.
  • New bindings in calf, goatskin and cloth.
  • Bespoke albums and blank books.
  • Thesis bindings.

THE HAY BINDERS is a small hand bindery specialising in the repair, restoration and rebinding of cloth and leather bound books. The bindery was established in Hay-on-Wye by Phillip Powell-Jones. Christine Cleaton joined the bindery in 1975 having received a BA Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Illinois (USA) where she also studied typography, letter press printing and book arts. She has run the bindery since 1982.

The Hay Binders
The Hay Binders


The general work of The Hay Binders consists of repairs and restoration. Most often rebacking to leather and cloth bound books, retaining wherever possible as many of the original elements of the binding. Where rebinding in a new binding is required this is done in a style fitting to the period and original treatment of the text block. Work undertaken includes a wide range of collectable books and ephemera, from antiquarian to modern firsts, as well as family Bibles and albums, prize books and family heirlooms and keepsakes.

Over the years Christine has repaired everything from tiny (1 ½ “ X 1”) silver clad prayer books to huge folio facsimile of the Egyptian Book of The Dead. She has taken many book related commissions including supplying ‘fake spines’ for a country house interior and making an A4 size drop back box in a 19th C style half calf with marbled boards and full gilt spine – to house printed copies of emails! – a humorous mix of ancient and modern.



Since 2001 Christine has been commissioned to bind the six special presentation copies of the short listed books for the Orange Prize for Fiction and from 2006 the presentation copy of The Orange Award for New Writers prize winner. Please look through the picture gallery for examples of bindings and an ongoing selection of before and after photographs.

The Hay Binders
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