Islamic bindings – instructions part 1

Islamic Headband Feature

These instructions are to coincide with the Islamic binding lessons that we have been having with Kristine Rose from the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Sewing and spine preparation

The two sewing stations must be prepared in advance of sewing as the paper is not good enough quality to work blind on the book, this can be done by piercing the paper or by scoring the stations with a knife. Commonly sewing was in yellow silk.

Islamic Binding Sewing two stations
Sewing two stations

Sew the first two sections twice as it is not initially sewn off, then continue to sew using link stitches. For sewing off, make the final stitch a kettle stitch, so that it is secured.

Knock sections up between boards and put into a laying press.

Stipple a small amount of paste into the sections to stick initially, then repaste with stippling and put spine lining on and bone folder down. The spine lining should be an evenweave linen, commonly mauve was used.

Islamic Binding Pasting up the spine
Pasting up the spine

Excess linen is to be trimmed and pasted to the book block. This will be hidden by the board attachments. The linen should only be a couple of millimetres either side of the spine.

Islamic Binding lining the spine
Lining the spine

Endbands:

End band cores should be the same material as covering, cut 3mm and just wider than the text block, these are to be glued up on the flesh side of the leather and moulded so that no fibres stick out. The cores should then be stuck onto the spine, adjacent to the spine and just hanging over either side.

Each section centre should then be marked.

Islamic Binding The end band core
The end band core

Sewing of the endbands is done using three threads:

Primary thread – this should be a bright colour, often a gold, so that it can be seen in contrast to the other two. This is sewn through every section and over the cores, which creates the basis for the second two threads.

Islamic Binding Working the primary
Working the primary
Islamic Binding working the first two rows
working the first two rows

Secondary thread – this is woven over and under the primary thread at the middle of the core and left at the other end

Islamic Binding Locking the secondary with the tertiary
Locking the secondary with the tertiary

Tertiary thread – this follows the secondary thread on each row, going ‘under the overs’ and ‘over the unders’ meaning that every time a secondary thread goes over the primary, the tertiary will go under both, and when a secondary thread goes under a primary, the tertiary goes over both.

Islamic Binding Starting the tertiary
Starting the tertiary

The tertiary then anchors the secondary at the other end, allowing the secondary to weave back through the primaries to the starting point. Once the tertiary has come back and two rows are complete, there should be a chevron pattern starting. These two rows are then shuffled along the primaries to sit on the text block, before the next row is started.

Islamic Binding Chevron
Shuffling the chevron down the primary
Islamic Headband The finished end bands
The finished end bands

To finish text block:

Tie down end band knots within the text block.

Trim decorative end papers just smaller than first sheet and wet before pasting. Paste just over the fabric on the spine and press. Once pressed, trim any excess decorative papers.

Pair endband cores very slightly and paste down onto book cover.

Paste and fan out text block threads onto spine.

Boards:

Three boards are used per cover, which should be lightly wetted prior to pasting.

Boards are exactly the same size of text block in height, though not in width – Square up one corner of board and measure against cover of book, leaving a joint space at the spine, about the same size as the endbands, trim the boards to this size once pasted.

Islamic Binding trimming boards
Measuring up the board for trimming

Leave boards sharp without back cornering them.

The foredge flap will only be the thickness of one board not three, and will be done when covering the book.

The foredge envelope will be as the covers and three board thicknesses. It should be the same height for the boards and measured to exactly half the width of the boards. The point is central and the depth of the angle is half the width of the envelope.

Preparing for the Duck Pond Market

Well today has been a very busy day in my newly set up studio – with the Duck Pond Market coming up on Sunday, I have been preparing for the fair – stocking up my books, making more stationery and business cards. I’ve a little way to go to finish some bits and pieces, but I’m nearly there!

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Doing a stock take of inserts! Don’t they look pretty!

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New coptic bound books, these were made soooo much easier by having the board chopper accessible!

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Books in the press with new handmade pressing boards (thanks to my wonderful father!)

All looking good so far!

A Final Book for Becca

This is the last book in the series of Books for Becca’s wedding, it is the all important guest book! As I am writing this, it is the day before the big event, and I shall take more pictures of the book when it has been fully used by the guests – I might have had a little fizz by then, so we will see how those pictures turn out!

It is in the same style as the previous two books, though much smaller, the pages are a landscape A5 size, rather than the previous A4 and bigger. It is still bound in a simple coptic style and has the crumpled paper and ribbon on the front. Again it is in pink as this is the theme of the wedding!

 

 

A Book for a Hen

You may recall that some time back I made a book for a bride – my oldest friend, who is getting married in August. Well the weekend just gone was her hen-do – a raucous event of karaoke and champagne amongst other things! And, as many hen-do’s do – this one required a hen book!

This duty obviously came my way and I endeavoured to make it well and in the style of the previous one so they matched. A nice part of this book was that all the chicks (is that the term??) had a huge input into it, as they made their own pages for the book, as apposed to giving me their pictures and notes and me putting it all together. It worked really well and I think the bride was quite chuffed!

In leaving the pages up to the girls, I had to give them specific instructions as to the layout so that when I got them, they were similar enough for me to bind together in a book like structure. The plan was to have two landscape A4 sheets that I could stick together in the middle and then sew through. I used pink guards to make them more similar and give extra support, which matched the paper on the cover. That, along with the ribbon and scrunched up paper, meant it all came together nicely and matched the previous one quite well!

The A4 pages joined at the middle
The pink guards

A Book for a Bride

As many of you will know, my oldest and best friend is getting married next year! – Very exciting, and as I am to be a bridesmaid! I believe it is tradition for a bride to have a book to keep all thoughts and pictures in prior to the wedding – a bit like a scrap book for potential dresses and locations etc. My friend is extremely organized, and already has most of it planned – including the former two items – so her book may be a little empty! However, that does not mean she didn’t need a book, so diligently I went about making one, and am showing you the results!

As you can see, I have taken the design from my previous coptic binding, only this one is smaller with more pages.
I still need more practice, but considering my last coptic binding, this is a great deal better – hopefully my next one will be even more so. I haven’t quite got the knack of the link stitches, but I think one more try and I’ll have them right!

Bookbinding Update | Week 36

How very sad – our course has now ended and no longer will I be spending Tuesday evenings at the City Lit, enjoying the company of our small group of bookbinders (I’d like to call ourselves that as we have now completed the course), perhaps more affectionately known now as the Montague Binders following our visit to the mythical Montague Arms pub (otherwise known as the Prince of Wales – sorry about that!)

Yesterday we did manage to complete all sorts of bits and bobs and I am fairly sure we all came away with our final project 2 books – so well done to everyone on that!

I also managed to complete my phase box, which I must admit is pretty much just as bad as the coptic binding it is encasing – I think perhaps a smaller book would have been better to start with, so I think I will try that again.

Here are some more pictures of the evening, including our class in full and Nesta receiving her apron from us

I have added some more pictures onto Facebook, in our new group page that Katherine has kindly set up called ‘Bookbinding 2010‘, which I think we should rally to change to the ‘Montague Binders’!!

And finally, thank you very much Nesta for such an enjoyable year, I really have had a fantastic time!