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Posts Tagged ‘release time’

According to Smith, you need at least five sections so that the pattern will be apparent, so keep that in mind. 🙂

After folding the sections and sizing the boards for the covers, I covered the boards and got ready to create a template for marking the stitches.

First section joined to cover

First section joined to cover

Sewing stations should be less than 1 inch apart, though the stations at the head and tail are supposed to be between 1/2″ and 5/8″ inches away to strengthen the book and keep the head and tail tighter. So, for my book, the head and tail stations are about 1/2″ from the top of the section, and the next closest sewing stations is about 1/2″ from the first. The middle stations were spaced evenly at 1″ apart. So, I had a total of 7 sewing stations. The holes in the cover boards were punched about 1/8″ in from the end.

Keith recommends doing this type of binding by sewing on a supporting board. As you can see from the picture, I did try to do this. It worked, but I think it’s necessary to have a workstation that you can sit at where the board and book are above waist height to make this a truly comfortable way to work. I did this on a coffee table and found that it was hard to do.

I can’t give a detailed description on how the sewing is done. I no longer remember all the details. I can give a brief overview though. You start as you usually would from the inside of the first section to the outside and then it loops around the board from the outside to the inside. The thread then wraps around itself as it goes back into the first station heading to the tail. Keith’s book has very helpful diagrams that really make this clear.

Chain pattern emerging

Chain pattern emerging

The pattern that he teaches is a chain pattern. There are many different patterns that can be done with Coptic binding, so don’t think that this is the only one. It’s really important to try and keep the same tension throughout the sewing so that the chain emerges clearly. Too tight, and the chain disappears; too loose, and the chain becomes unweildy. I think I got the tension somewhere in the middle pretty consistently. I thank years of crocheting for helping me with that. Embroidery also helps with teaching a consistent tension in sewing.

After attaching the board at the final station, it’s time to add the next section. Rather than going back into the final sewing station on the first section, the thread is woven under itself as it emerges on the inside of the cover and then enters the first sewing station on the 2nd section. It then proceeds on the inside to the next sewing station. Now it’s time to start making the chain pattern. Basically, the thread comes out of the second station and wraps down around the sewing below it and goes back into the hole.

Well, once again, the baby has awoken, though I feel I’m making progress on the documentation. 🙂

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I’ve seen so many examples of this style of binding that I thought were beautiful, so I wanted to learn it.  I found an example in Keith Smith’s book, Non-adhesive binding: Books without paste or glue, vol 1, and used that to learn from.  I did complete the binding, but I’m not sure that I would ever do another.  Advantages – it opens completely flat.  A huge advantage if you want to use the full sheet of paper.  And, it’s great for photos.  But, I really don’t like the loosey goosey feeling of the binding.  It’s most probably my stitching of it being too loose, but I don’t know.

Let me see if I can remember the process that I followed and document here as I did other projects.

Basically I began by folding the sections and decided to have 5 sections and used those to determine the cover sizes once they were folded.  So once, I determined the size and cut the boards, I covered them and got ready to create the pattern for stabbibg the pages and the covers.

So now we pause because my beautiful seven-month old woke from his nap early.  Fortunately, his older brother who’s 3 1/2 is still out. 🙂

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It’s been some time since I posted.  There just never seems to be any time.  Ah well.  That’s life, isn’t it?

I was lucky enough to be granted release time from my job this spring to pursue my bookbinding.  The goal of the release time was to work on non-adhesive bindings and to try and create a small studio space for myself at home.  Well, I kinda got that done and am now able to use my summer professional development time to try and document what I did as well as to continue bookbinding.

I began my spring project late, but I managed to complete several bindings: a coptic binding, a photoalbum utilizing screwposts, and a japanese binding featuring a hemp stitch.  I also purchased a board cutter and a stand for the cutter.

I hope to begin documenting the steps I took with each over the next few weeks.  I have photos and will hopefully remember each step in the process.  I’m about to begin another photoalbum for my niece, so that should help.

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