What is bookbinding?
We all have books at home, whether they be schoolbooks, novels, journals or sketchbooks. They might be paperbacks or hardbacks, though I'm guessing not many of you own hand-crafted books. With books being commonly used and readily available items today we forget that books are (or can be) works of art! Bookbinding is a craft especially cultivated in the Middle Ages, where books were still quite rare and expensive. The art of bookbinding has survived until today, although it is no longer necessary to bind books by hand, since we have machines that can do that for us. Nevertheless, a hand-made book is a beautiful thing, and has the special appeal of something unique.
Tool for punching holes into paper, book board, signatures etc.
Tool used for folding and creasing paper.
Sheets of paper which come between the cover and the signatureblock.
Small band of cloth at the top and bottom inside of a book's spine. Mostly used for decorative reasons.
Process of sewing together the signatures (and the cover in some cases).
Group of folded sheets which together make up a complete book. A book can consist of one or more signatures.
Binding/sewing techniques include:
A type of binding used for hard-cover books. The textblock (signatures glued together) is glued to a seperate case, and the book typically has grooves along the spine. The technique requires many steps and is a time-consuming endeavor.
Characterised by the chain of stitches that links the signatures together. The name stems from the Copts (early Christians in Egypt) who used this technique. It's popular for making journals and sketchbooks.
A bookbinding method where the leather binding extends beyond the covers to end in a large knot, so that the book can be tucked into one's girdle (= belt). These books were worn by medieval European monks between the 13th and the 16th century.
A method in which the book cover consists of a flexible cloth, leather, vellum (high-quality parchment) or paper.
A technique used to sew together signature-block and cover (usually a leather cover). It is often used in combination with other stitches such as the chain stitch.
Some great tutorials to get you started on making your own books!
Wonderful handmade books to have a look at:
Thanks for reading, and have fun making your own books!