28 January 2015

Massive mess

Well, at least I call it massive considering how well it could have gone. I know a woman from the Everyday Matters (sketching) yahoo group who loves to make books. She recently made a book using "album binding". She was kind enough to give me her notes and help me with the book. Everything was going fine until it came to attaching the stitched signatures to the book case (front, back and spine). I  was fascinated by this binding method because you could have a conventional looking book but the signatures were not glued to the spine, leaving them to open flat for a sketchbook. 
Let me start at the beginning. I started with a piece of paper I wanted to use on the cover. Using paper for the cover was the first mistake. I should have used book cloth. OK, mistake #1. 

This was a piece of paste paper that was sort of prints and smears of leftover paste. It was too white.

I used dye based watercolors I bought from DMTV (the Kemshalls)
This wash gave the colors a continuity.

Next was long stitching the 10 signatures to a cloth strip. This may look easy but took HOURS to do.

The signatures were stitched 1/8" apart. 

I then clamped the signatures together to help the book stand on it's own

Here is the front back and spine

I glued the individual pieces of bookboard to the paper. This was mistake #2 because the paper wrinkled and it was difficult to make it adhere.

The fabric  used had steam-a-seam on the back so I ironed the fabric backed signatures to the inside of the book. NOT a mistake. This worked well.

It's done and I'll use it but I doubt if I will ever use this binding technique again. The coptic binding is fast, easy and the pages lay just as flat!!


  1. Looks great and seems to have turned out well!

  2. So glad to see your book! It looks good, even though you know where the mistakes are. My professor taught this book structure as a terrific one for collage or lots of ephemera to be added to a travel sketchbook, because there is the dedicated room between the sigs.

  3. If it took you hours it would take me forever!
    the coptic stitch: my books seem to be a bit wobbly...:o( Bookmaking does take a bit of patience, I think...

  4. It does look effective though.


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