Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Attempt At Coptic Binding

It's been a couple of years since I did any bookbinding projects. My last one was full-on hardcover bookbinding (with glue). Last weekend I decided to try Coptic binding, which is a sewn binding that does not require any adhesives.

I once attended a seminar on bookbinding, but it didn't include coptic binding. I knew how to do kettle stitch, but not how to attach the cover boards correctly. So I browsed tutorials on Youtube. I found DaphLife's tutorial friendly and easily followed.

I did two practice books, a "pocket-size" book (a page is half a legal-size sheet folded into two) and a "standard" (letter-size sheet folded into two) one. They're quite minimalist; I didn't cover the illustration board covers with fancy paper anymore since I was impatient. Besides, I was only going to use them for ordinary note-taking and not for journalling. I'm frustrated that I can't find in the bookstores quality bulk paper whose surface can take fountain pen ink properly enough that I can write on both sides of the page. At least my book block paper is acid-free. Next time I'll do the fancy cover wrapping and all.

Coptic binding usually requires a thicker thread, usually of a color that contrasts with the paper and the cover board. This makes sure the decorative aspect of the sewing comes through to the viewer/user. I just used what I had at home, a 100% cotton crochet thread. I used the single-needle version (yes, there is a two-needle version, but I only had one needle big enough for the crochet thread).

What I like about this method is that the book opens flat, is stackable (compared to my comb ringbound notebooks) and is 100% biodegradable.

Yes, yes, I know, next time I'll make prettier wrapped cover boards.