Bookbinding, what to know to become a pro…

March 3, 2020, by Lisa Saville

There are so many binding methods available depending on your personal needs or budget. Understanding the pro’s and con’s of each will help you make the right choices…

Let’s start at the beginning with the simplest and most cost effective method: SADDLE STITCHING. Contrary to its name, this quick and easy method uses no thread but simply has two staples through the spine. This type of binding allows the book to lie completely flat and is effective for up to sixty pages depending on the grammage of your paper.

If your page count exceeds the maximum for saddle stitching then you may want to consider PLASTIC COMB or METAL WIRO BINDING. Both methods can accommodate a significant amount of pages, allow the book to lie flat when open, are fairly fast and cost effective and also come in different colours.

GLUE BINDING will give a more professional look to your project and can be done with both soft wraparound covers – like a magazine with a spine, or with hard covers – like a photo book. You may have heard the terms ‘PUR BINDING’ and ‘PERFECT BINDING’ used in this context, but there is a difference between the two (more here) due to the nature of the adhesive used as well as the outcome with regard to its ‘lay-flat’ capabilities. At Hot Ink we offer PERFECT BINDING – this method involves glueing the spine as well as side-stitching the pages with staples first, to ensure that the leaves are 100% secure. You may also have seen the term CASE BINDING mentioned in our quotes – this simply refers to the outer case that forms the hard cover that gets glued onto our photo books.

Another fast and easy binding method that we offer that uses glue to hold the pages together, is STRIP BINDING. These ‘cloth-look’ strips wrap around the spine and are available in different colours too.

Although perfect binding does provide a premium finish, the pages will not lie completely flat on their own. Should this be a requirement then you would want to request THREAD SEWING. This involves the pages being hand-stitched with thread into ‘signatures’, ie. sets of between 8 and 24 pages depending on your paper weight and total page count. These signatures then get glue-bound into a hard outer cover, resulting in a beautiful casebound book that allows the pages to open all the way to the gutter edge without coming apart.

Other customised options include using INTERSCREWS. This flexible solution allows for the inner pages to be added or removed as required and interscrews can be used to bind both soft or hard covers. In both cases the spine would need to have either a crease or a ‘hinge’  to allow it to open properly. Also, one should allow for extra bleed on the bound edge where you lose up to 15mm of visible printed area on your inner pages.

The true art of book binding in its traditional sense is vast and complex, but above are some of the common methods available for everyday projects. Please chat to us if you have a custom request or need any further advice and do take a look at some examples of our work. Take advantage of our current special: order before end March 2020 and pay LESS 20%.

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