Guide to handmade bookbinding: techniques and processes

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Anne Murray

Binding is a technique or process that is already centuries old. It has been in practice since the birth of books. At first, it was extremely difficult to copy and reproduce them, making them a special and very valuable object.

Thus, good bindings were also, accordingly, very much required and necessary.

In the same way,before the invention of certain technologies linked to publishing, there was a type of handmade binding .

That is, a type of binding that was carried out by expert craftsmen following a series of processes that did not necessarily require a workshop, machinery or a large team of technicians. Thus, handmade binding is opposed to and precedes the

binding of the

binding process .historically to the so-called industrial bookbinding .

The beginning of industrial bookbinding dates back to the 19th century and was born linked to a series of technological advances that allowed the automation of the publishing process. And, consequently, the systematized and massive production of bindings.

Craft bookbinding today

Throughout the centuries, although theworld of bookbinding and publishing is completely different from that of today, the handmade binding still endures .

At present the market is mostly saturated by industrial type bindings. However, the handmade binding , going beyond its original protective function, has moved into other areas of interest .Many amateurs bind their own books or objects at home, a practice that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

The following is a brief explanation of the types of handmade bookbinding available .homemade bookbinding processes or techniques that can be carried out to produce them.

Types of handmade bookbinding

Today, the homemade bookbindings made by amateurs are not like those made before the 19th century. These would involve complicated processes of elaboration, drying and ornamentation.

The usual is thatThere are ways of doing this that involve different modern ready-made materials. In general, all of them are inexpensive and very easy to acquire. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest attractions of this craft.

One of the possible types of binding is the conventional stapled binding . It is enough to simply fold the sheets of which the book is made into a book, and the book will be bound in the same way as a stapled book.two, put them between the front and back covers, and staple the sheets as many times as you like.

A variant could be to use different staples, such as omega staples . These protrude from the stapled sheet, giving the bound object in question a very different aesthetic finish.

At the same time, one can choose to bind a documentusing a spiral or a comb . This is the option most commonly used in copy shops when binding thick volumes of notes. This is usually the main difference compared to staple binding. The spiral or comb makes it possible to hold a much larger document and usually for a much longer time.

A third type of binding is a spiral or comb.of handmade binding would be the use of fasteners and screws .These are two ways of punching and fastening mainly covers of a certain thickness.Such a thing is not possible with either of the two previous methods.Now, with fasteners and screws you will not easily compact a large document either.

Of course, there are many variants for each of the three methods.methods and many complementary methods. But these are the most basic, simple and economical.

Coptic handmade binding

A much more artistic and handmade method is that of Coptic binding . It is also rather more complicated to execute with precision.

It consists of a process in which the covers, if possible hard, are sewn to the sheets by usingIt is, therefore, a type of binding that dispenses with a spine, but which is at the same time considerably resistant. In addition, the string gives it a truly unique aesthetic finish.

Japanese binding

This is undoubtedly the most well-known, ancient and versatile handmade binding process.The

difference with the Coptic binding is that it is much more versatile . One can have, for example, very many combinations of threads to hold the covers, also hard, and the sheets. What gives personality to the Japanese binding is precisely the care that is usually put both in theFor example, the colour of the covers, the covers' covers and the material used for spinning are usually taken into account .

I am Anne Murray and I have been learning the craft of bookbinding since 2006. I have taken classes from several well-known paper and book artists and craftsmen and have also worked on my own to develop my skills. I like to think of my skill development in terms of the language of medieval crafts guilds: I have definitely moved beyond apprentice, but am still in the 'journeyman' stage. I expect one day soon to earn the title of master craftsman.