The beginning of the end
A few weeks ago, we started our final binding in our elective course. This is a fine binding structure, and so far, it’s been an amazing overview, refresher, and expansion of all the processes I’ve learned over the my time here in the program.
Traditionally, fine binding structures are reserved for books with an overall higher level of quality—lush paper, quality printing, exceptional design, etc. Not having a surplus of handsome unbound text blocks myself, we were fortunate enough to be given a handsome letterpressed text block. Our first step was to unsew the text block and punch new holes for our sewing structure.
With the sewing is complete, a PVA, methyl-cellulous mix is generously applied to a square spine. This is known as consolidation and will hold the structure together. It is necessary to do this prior to plowing for stabilization.
Now that the edges are plowed and the endsheets are ready, it’s time to put the two together. Knowing the endsheets would be sewn on later, I left the thread tales at the sewing start and finish long to give me excess thread to sew on the endsheets.
Next comes backing and then lining. The first of many is a japanese paper patch lining adhered with mix between tapes. It is important to adhere the first patch lining soon after rounding to stabilize the round.
Endbands are next! We learned a new sleek, bead-on-the-back endband for this book. Since first seeing this endband last year, I have been so excited to learn it! I love how modern and simple it is. Once they are sewn to satisfaction (I sewed mine twice to get them just right), more linings are added. The first is a linen lining. This is a linen strip cut on the bias, measured from shoulder to shoulder and extending beyond the head and tail. It is the final patch lining, meaning it doesn’t run over the tapes. Then comes a sand-able handmade paper lining, again running from shoulder to shoulder and extending head and tail. Once this is all completely dry and well bone-folded, it is necessary to even out the high points with a level sanding stick.
Time to deal with the boards.
Lining the boards with a softish, sand-able machine made paper (like Johannot) and back cornering are the final pre-covering steps. More to follow soon!