Book binding workshop

Last Thursday in CIP we had a book binding workshop. I was looking forward to it because I had never done any kind of book binding before. Earlier in the week before the workshop I went to the book binding shop in Victoria to buy some necessary materials. I had the list of things that we would need with me but I didn’t buy everything because everything was so expensive in the shop! A jar of glue £12-16,  half a meter of book cloth £6-20, most decorative paper £5-7 per sheet… I only got the cover boards for the book, some A4 paper for the pages and the cheapest decorative sheet of paper which actually was quite nice. It was a painted picture of a book binding workshop. So bound a book with a picture of people binding books on the cover 🙂

Making the covers

In the beginning of the workshop the teacher demonstrated how the book covers for Japanese stab binding are done and then we could start making our own. I had to get a bit creative though because I hadn’t any bought book cloth and you need it to cover the cover boards and to make the hinge. Luckily I was able to have a little bit of Finn’s cloth, enough to make the hinge for both covers and then cover the rest of the cover with my decorative paper. After cutting the boards and the cover fabric/paper to the right size I glued them together using a paint roller to spread the glue onto the board. After gluing I folded the edges and put the covers under a weight to dry.

the “gluing station”
my pages attached to the table while gluing


While the covers where drying I started gluing the pages together. I had to attach them to the table to make sure they all stay together while gluing. I spread about 4 layers of glue to the edge of the papers and let it dry between each layer. After the glue was dry I had to make holes to through the whole thick stack of paper so that I could sew the covers and pages together. It was really difficult because the pile was so thick. I used a hammer to hammer a thick needle through it to make the holes.


I also used the hammer to get the sewing needle though the holes in the covers and pages when I was sewing them. I followed the sewing instructions in a handout that we were given in the beginning of the lesson. It took me ages to sew. The wholes where so tight. When I was almost finishing sewing, I noticed I had made a mistake and I had to untie all the stitches and re-sew the whole thing. It was quite annoying. Eventually I did get it done and I was really happy with the result.


front cover
back cover

I was really happy with my outcome and everything I had learned in the workshop. I thought it was a very useful day and I would like to do book binding again sometime. I’m not sure if I will do it for the portfolio project because we have to make two identical copies of it, but it is still a possibility.

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