The Binding Process

Traditional techniques and modern design come together in the process of making these unique books. 

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I love getting elbow deep into my ribbon stash to pick out the perfect selection for each unique book, ensuring the colours and textures are spot on. 

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Pages are hand folded into signatures, and each signature has holes punched into it for sewing through. As each book has its own unique set of ribbons, each book needs its own unique guide to ensure the holes are in exactly the right place.

The pages sit in a punching cradle, and holes are made with a sharp awl. The tools used in bookbinding are ancient and simple.

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And the sewing begins! I use quality thread coated in beeswax. The wax helps prevent the thread from tangling, and it grips to itself slightly which is useful to keep tension in the stitches. 

I use the Coptic techique, which originated in Egypt in the 2nd century AD. It is as practical as it is old, making the pages lay flat when opened so its comfortable to write and draw in, without the dreaded center crease. 

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This is called the book block, and is the pages all sewn together ready for the covers. I use a variety of decorative stitches in all my designs, creating twists and bows adding to the beauty of the spines. I like adding different coloured threads into the designs when I can, as I have with the blue thread over the white ribbon here.

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And here is the finished book - ta daa! 

If you are interested in making your own book, DIY bookbinding kits are coming soon!

Cover design: The Great Wave off Kanagawa