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Let's say you have a book to bind, and the text paper is so pulpy and soft that you are worried that any glued spine linings will delaminate. Or, maybe you are faced with the challenge of creating a flexible binding from pages that are thick and stiff. Or, maybe you want to do a non-adhesive spine but the book you are binding is so large and heavy that a regular non-adhesive structure won’t be sufficiently strong. Or, maybe you need precise control of swell. 

It’s hard to imagine that one structure could successfully address all these troublesome scenarios, but just such challenges have prompted Daniel to combine raised cord sewing and wire edge binding to elegantly serve all these needs. 

The structure that we’ll investigate has a non-adhesive spine system that combines exposed sewing on raised cords with an interior wire along the inside fold (gutter) of each section of pages. A significant advantage of the gutter wire is that it allows you to eliminate the kettle stitch—an inherently weak feature when not supported by spine linings. This binding—even without spine linings—yields a very strong, flexible book. Another characteristic of this structure is that the use of raised cords helps us achieve a very successful connection from text block to covers (without the need for a material such as leather bridging spine to boards). 

You will create your text block by folding paper and collating the folios into sections. Then, you’ll punch the sections for sewing; set up the text block on a sewing frame; and attach one section to the next by sewing around the interior wire and the cords. Daniel will show you how to make your own simple sewing frame from items you can readily purchase. You will construct the covers of your book with wire rods along the spine edge of the boards. The raised cords of the text block will be anchored to the wire rods in the covers to complete the binding. 

You can expect to have an engaging conversation about the challenges of integrating materials to create a structure that manifests a desired dynamic. 

All levels of experience are welcome.