Bookbinding Update | Week 34

Well this week was set at a fast moving pace, and I was on the verge of not keeping up with the team! Sadly I didn’t manage to make the headbands for my rounded back (Journey to the Centre of the Earth) in the traditional manner using thread and a leather/vellum core, however I did manage to make them using cord and leather, which you can see stuck on the spine in the picture below – I had rather a lot of difficulty in paring (thinning) the leather, but hopefully I’ll get better with practice … fingers crossed!

My leather pairing

The headband stuck on
Following that I had to trim the boards (and then trim them again due to miscalculating), then it was speeding on to lining the spine – so on went the frayknot (this replaced the mull covering the spine that we have previously used), and then the grey kraft paper that you can see in the picture.
The book with headbands, trimmed boards, frayknot and kraft paper
Not content with stopping there, some of us even managed to cover our boards. I had a lucky find in the perfect size and colour of book cloth in the cupboard, but didn’t quite manage to cover it. Though I did manage to make the spine piece – this is made from heritage paper rather than board, which is a thick paper, giving support and flexibility to the roundedness of the spine.
Perfect sized, perfect coloured book cloth!!

2 Replies to “Bookbinding Update | Week 34”

  1. Anyone bind a book by hand with a swenig technique?I am self-publishing a small poetry collection and I am ready to bind it. I wanted to use thin gauge wire and sew with a saddle stitch but would the wire tear the paper and rust? How about embroidery thread? Something low cost broke poet here. Let me know if you have any techniques! Thanks!

    1. Sorry for the slow response. Yes, most hand binding is done by hand sewing, though I would strongly advise against using wire, as it will rust and will have no give for the paper. I would suggest going to your local haberdashery and finding some linen thread – this has more strength than cotton, but will not damage the book. Hope that helps! Maudie

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