Three different styles of books were on offer to explore by the participants.
The first one was a Chinese Accounts book. I like this structure as it gives an introduction into a few bookbinding techniques.
- how to fold paper the correct way
- making folios
- how to make a template for
- what makes up a signature
- how to stitch together the pages
of a signature
- trimming up the edges
- stitching the spine and finishing
Each person finished their first book and as you can see the result of each was very different styling depending on how much thread they used in stitching the covers on.
One thing I found very strange was that six needles broke. That is something I have never experienced as a needlewoman or during binding books. I don't know whether people hadn't made their holes big enough for sewing or it was a bad batch of needles. However, when I contacted the company I bought them from were very apologetic and sent me a replacement pack which has now been received.
Book number one complete and it was time for lunch. It had been a heady morning with plenty of concentration; choosing paper patterns, cutting by hand, piercing paper and sewing.
After lunch, we moved on to larger books. The group were given a choice of books either the basic or hemp stitch. I went very much by the pace things had gone in the morning and felt that there was a good chance that only one book would be completed by each person in the afternoon.
Most were keen to start on the hemp book, but a few wanted to do the basic binding first. Each person had a handout, but despite the practical morning sessions without handouts, some of the group found it difficult to follow the written instructions. It was a bit disappointing since I had looked high and low for a hand-out that made sense and was easy to follow.
There are not many books about on the subject and certainly not many links online. The book I like to refer to is Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions form a Master Craftsman by Kojiro Ikegami
Note to self: Developing my own set of binding instructions.