Book binding for Beginners
Bookbinding for Beginners
by Florence O. Bean - Assistant in Manual Arts - Boston Public Schools
Published by School Arts Publishing Company 1914
Binding a Book

There are several ways of sewing a book and even more ways of
binding it after it's sewed. The first method here given is the
simplest, and is such as is feasible in a fifth or sixth grade without
a sewing frame, a press, or other apparatus than the simple tools
required in the previous problems.
First determine the shape and size of the book. It is better at first
not to attempt a book which is very thick, seven to twelve
signatures being sufficient for a beginning. A "signature" is the
name applied to a folded sheet, several of which go to make up
the inside of a book. If the sheet is folded once it is called a
"folio"; if twice, a "quarto"; if three times, an "octavo." (See Plate
XLI.) These signatures, when sewed together, form what is
technically known as "the book," and the covers and back" the
With a piece of cheap paper experiment a little,
folding it one or more times and if necessary
trimming the edges to change size or
proportions. When the size is determined, cut a
sufficient number of sheets, fold, and "stack"
(pile) them for sewing. If the paper provided is
too small to be used for a "quarto," place one"
folio" inside another which will give two
thicknesses of paper at each fold and will have
the same effect as a "quarto." If desired, two or
three sheets of paper may be placed together
before folding so that there will be several
thicknesses at the back.
These signatures are to be sewed over three
pieces of tape, one to be at the middle of the
fold, one from 1 to lY2 inch from each end,
according to the size of the pages. On the back
of the first signature mark carefully the position
of the edges of each piece of tape, and
additional points Y2 an inch from each end. The
latter points show the location of the "kettle
stitches." Replace this signature on the others
and mark across the backs of all, locating similar
points on other signatures with as much accuracy as possible.' (See Plate XLII.) The major folds should then be
"jogged up" evenly at the back, and the minor folds at the" head" or top.

At each point on each signature make a hole for sewing by opening the signatures and piercing through with a
needle from the back. Replace the signatures in the same order as before. Cut three pieces of tape about three
inches long. Place the first signature on the desk or table with the fold of the back toward the operator. The left
hand should be placed inside the signature to receive and return the threaded needle which is pushed through from
the outside by the right hand. (See Plate XLIII.) Pass the thread in through the first hole (leaving an end long
enough for tying), out through the second hole, over the tape, in through the third hole, out through the fourth hole,
over the second tape, in through the fifth hole, out through the sixth hole, over the third tape, in through the
seventh hole, and out through the eighth or last hole of the signature.
Binding a Book Part 2 > >
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