Following one of our most popular posts ‘Top 10 Coptic Stitch Binding Tutorials on the Internet‘ we have decided to do a post on the top 15 of the best Japanese Stab Binding instructions and tutorials we could find on the web (also known as the Traditional Chinese Binding Method though there are noticeable differences between the two). On this page you’ll also find a collection of video tutorials and many Japanese stab binding related resources (PDF’s, Stitching Patterns, Photo Galleries etc) for your enjoyment – we hope it serves as a good resource for some of you out there.
Before you move on please consider leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.
Our other tutorial collections:
- Top 10 Coptic Stitch Binding Tutorials
- Top 10 Secret Belgian Binding Tutorials
- Top 10 Long Stitch Bookbinding Tutorials
- Top 10 Endband Tutorials
- Top 10 Box Making Tutorials
For those looking for a little background info on the Japanese Stab Binding Technique:
The method of stab binding a paper together has been around since the conception of the book some 2000 years back and was primarily used by the Chinese, Japanese and other Asian countries. Even today it remains the binding of choice of many Asian countries due to its simplicity, effectiveness and cost. There is also the added benefit of being able to bind the book with ease after the content has been written; this is due to the fact that single sheets are used for the binding and no folding of the paper is required. This is an important factor to consider when choosing an appropriate binding method. In the modern world, Japanese stab binding is perfect for group projects where people submit their own work.
No glues are used in the process of making a stab bound book and whilst the traditional method speaks only of using soft materials for the front and back covers the stab bound process does lend itself well to modifications and variations. It is possible to use hard covers with the integration of a flexible cloth hinge near where the book is bound. Good results can be had using this technique but it is a little more complex and perhaps not overly suitable for the beginner.
More information on the history of Japanese Stab Binding.
#1 Japanese 4-Hole Binding (Yotsume Toji) (Soft Cover) – Basic
A classic 4-hole Japanese binding tutorial by Grace Bonney @ Design Sponge. A good little tutorial of the basic stab binding technique with many photographs documenting the whole process. No special equipment needed.
- Stitching Patterns & Techniques
- Additional Resources
#2 Hardcover, Hinged Japanese Stab Binding Tutorial, Great Photos – Intermediate
Big thanks to Caroline @ Coloresque for putting together this great tutorial on a hinged Japanese stab binding with stiff cover boards, in this case, made with cardboard. Detailed photographs document the entire process.
- Equipment list
- Cutting the boards to size
- Decorating the boards
- Covering the insides of the boards
- Cutting the paper to size
- Punching the holes
- You’re Finished!
#3 Advanced Japanese Stab Bound Journal by Kris @ howdidyoumakethis.com
Kris Degraeve has put together a fantastic hinged Japanese Style Stab Bound book tutorial on howdidyoumakethis.com. Using boards, decorative covering paper, clamps and a drill to make beautiful books suitable for any size. Perhaps one of the most comprehensive Japanese Stab Binding tutorials on the internet. Great stuff!
- Supplies and Equipment
- Cutting the board and cover papers
- Cutting and fraying hinge material (optional)
- Pasting board to cover material
- Folding cover material over edges and corners
- Gluing endsheets
- Cutting down your book block
- Clamping and Drilling the book stack
- Stitching together and tying off
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#4 Soft Cover Japanese Stab Binding (Pic-tutorial) – beginner
A very basic, but excellently documented, Japanese Stab Binding tutorial. Suitable for the beginners out there. This is a soft cover tutorial with a traditional binding (one that you’ll see all over Japan). Has a great intro on how to identify paper grain in your paper before starting.
#5 Portrait Party Booklet Sewing Demonstration: Japanese Stab Binding – beginner
An interesting video tutorial on how to make a Japanese stab bound book from start to finish. The accompanying write up also provides some good information about the usage and suitability of the stab bound book over other binding methods.
Get the Equipment You Need to do the Job Properly!
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#6 Japanese Stab Binding Designs (Props to Becca a very good resource)
If you’re looking to spice up your stitching designs then look no further. On her site, Becca, has put together the most comprehensive collection of different stitching designs with accompanying hole patterns, sewing patterns and written instructions. Probably around 50 stitching patterns to date.
#7 Hemp Leaf (Japanese Stab Binding – Asa-No-Ha Toji) Design Stitching Guide
#8 Tortoise Shell Stitching Pattern for Japanese Stab Binding – Beginner
#9 Hard Backed, Hinged Japanese Stab Binding (PDF) – Intermediate
#10 Simple Stab Stitching Tutorial – Basic
#11 Japanese Stab Bound Sandwich – For the Hungry
#12 Japanese Stab Binding Tutorials and Stitching Diagrams on Pinterest
If you’re in need of some inspiration for your stab binding projects then you might want to check out the ‘pins’ on Pinterest! A hand picked collection of some unique, weird, wacky and beautiful looking books. Some are simply photographs, others are links to other Japanese stab binding tutorials.
You can also find our own Pinterest! channel here.
#13 – 4 Japanese Stab Binding Videos on Vimeo – Intermediate
- Japanese Stab Binding 4-hole
- Japanese Stab Binding Heapleaf
- Japanese Stab Binding Noble Stitch
- Japanese Stab Binding Tortoise Stitch
- …& how to tie off
#14 Japanese Stab Binding – Printable PDF instructions
The writers at Lineco have done a fantastic job at creating a printable Japanese stab bound brochure. Hand-drawn diagrams and clear explanations makes this a perfect hand-out at the end of any bookbinding classes.
#15 Quick and Messy Japanese Stab Binding (PDF)
- The Theory of Japanese Stab Binding by Becca Making Faces
- Traditional Chinese Bookbinding
- Japanese Stab Binding PDF (2 page printout)
- Japanese Side Stitch
- Japanese Stab Binding on Making Mini Scrapbooks
- Japanese Stab Binding (Book Scan)
Japanese binding is one of many methods of non-adhesive binding. Keith A. Smith is an author well-known for his non-adhesive bindings tutorials. We would highly recommend that you have at least one of his books in your collection:
- Keith A. Smith, Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 1: Books without Paste or Glue
- Keith A. Smith, Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 2: 1- 2- & 3-Section Sewings
- Keith A. Smith, Non Adhesive Binding, Vol. 3: Exposed Spine Sewings
- Keith A. Smith, Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 4: Smith’s Sewing Single Sheets
- Keith A. Smith, Books without Paste or Glue