The first ever books in the world were the Egyptian papyrus rolls, which were composed of several columns of ancient writing scripts. The first of these manuscripts goes back as far as the 25th BC, and until the Christian era, they remained quite popular. However, during this period, the paper or the book industry underwent a transformation, and parchment started replacing the Egyptian papyrus rolls (more on Egyptian Papyrus Rolls on Wikipedia). Writing on parchments was arranged in parallel columns, and vertical lines were used to separate one column from another. This particular pattern gave rise to the idea of cutting the parchments into flat panels, which comprised of either three or four columns. Later on, this form evolved into the books we see today.
Introduction to Bookbinding
By now, you should have had all the material and equipment ready with you. The next step is to start with the fundamental techniques of bookbinding. In the simplest of handbook binding procedures, there are six main phases, which are demonstrated in figures 12 to 17. Continue reading →
The previous chapter discussed the major parts of a bookbinding process. These are all the things that lie at the surface. If you unearth more and go deeper, you would realize that bookbinding is a lot more than just cutting and pasting things together. You have to sew the hinges, prepare the mull and even decorate the cover for a nicer appearance. Continue reading →
Following on from the previous chapter on folding the sheets, collating is the process of inspecting and ensuring that all the parts of a book are complete and arranged in their proper order. Once this has been verified, the signatures can be sewn together. For blank books, collating plays no role. However, in all other cases, this step is very important. If you mark your signatures properly you can easily get this done. Continue reading →
The mull is a strip of cloth that is attached to the back of the sewn signatures and the tapes, and is also affixed to the cover boards with tapes. Cut a piece of cloth in a size that can conceal the top and bottom kettlestitches along with the tapes in between them; make sure that your chosen length is at least three inches wider than the back of the signatures so that it can be extended onto both sides. Continue reading →
You have now reached the final phase of the bookbinding process that involves mitering the corners, turning the edges of the cover page inside the book, and pasting the end sheets. While you proceed with these steps, make sure that your work is still slightly damp because it would provide you with better results. Continue reading →
As the name implies, a dust jacket can keep your work safe from dirt, wear and other sort of damages. The first step in constructing dust jacket is to select an appropriate paper that is similar to the book for which you are creating a jacket. Now measure the complete wraparound dimensions of the book. Cut a strip of paper that is about five inches wide, and crease it along the edges. Secure the paper in place with a clip as shown in figure 112. Wrap this paper around your book; pull it tight and tuck the loose end on the other side of the cover. All along, make well defined creases on the paper strip as you turn it over the book. Now remove the strip, and you would be able to see six distinct creases on it. In a similar manner, measure the height of the book with another strip of paper. The creases that are formed on the paper when you wrap it around have been illustrated in figure 113. Use these measurements to create a layout of the jacket on a separate sheet of paper. While doing this, measure the width of the flaps and ensure that it is almost one third of the cover width. If your book size is smaller, the flap width should be even more than this as shown in figure 114. Continue reading →
Split cover boards are used for heavy books with several signatures so that the construction remains solid and an adequate level of support can be provided. Figure 200 shows a split board that comprises of a mull and the endsheet placed in between a thick and thin piece of board. These board layers are used for stiffening purposes and conceal the mull and the endsheets between them. Continue reading →
Headbanding is the process of strengthening the head of a book. This is done by the sewing a cord onto the backbone behind the boards, which secures the signatures together more firmly. The result is a stronger binding construction, and even the backbone can be prevented from damage.
A good video introduction into creating and sewing headbands can be found in this YouTube playlist.
Well worth a watch before reading the rest of this tutorial. Enjoy!