Bookbinding is the physical act of creating a book in codex style from an orderly stack of paper sheets folded together into sections called "signatures" or occasionally left as a stack of individual sheets. Then, using a thick needle and strong thread, many signatures are joined together along one edge. The whole process is referred to as stitching the signatures together.
Books are assembled in various ways depending on their size, shape, and material. Smaller books may be bound in with the pages facing out, while larger ones have their pages glued or stapled together before being bound. Whether hand-made or factory produced, all books share several common features including a cover, back, and covers. Each page of a book contains writing or artwork which forms some kind of narrative or document. A book can contain reading matter of various kinds: poems, stories, essays, etc. In addition, books provide storage for reference materials and collectibles.
Books were originally made from parchment or cotton cloth but now also include electronic media such as CDs, DVDs, and computers. Today's books are typically manufactured by cutting large sheets of paper or cardboard stock into smaller sizes, usually 8 1/2 by 11 inches, which are then stacked and joined together with adhesive or stitches. Book covers are then attached to form the finished product.
Bookbinding necessitates the use of several raw materials, including paper, threads, tape, boards, and fabric. All of these goods are available in a variety of quality levels and grades on the market. It is important to use high-quality materials in order to get an attractive finished product.
The most important binding material is cloth, which can be used in two forms: lining and covering. The lining is what gives shape to the book and it should be as smooth as possible. This layer is usually made from cotton or linen fabrics and can also include other materials such as velvet. The covering protects the pages and their impressions against wear and tear. It typically consists of leather, but other materials such as cloth or plastic can be used instead.
Cloth is usually sold in large quantities by the yard and can be expensive. Therefore, it is recommended that you buy your cloth from a bookbinding supply company so that you know that what you are getting is enough for your project. They will be able to help you choose a good quality cloth at a reasonable price.
Hardcover binding techniques Among those that are still in use are: Sewing through the fold (also known as Smyth Sewing), in which the book's signatures are folded and sewn through the fold, has been dubbed the "gold standard" of binding. After that, the signatures are sewed and glued together at the spine to form a text block. This is then covered with leather or cloth. The cover is then attached to the text block with wire hinges and metal rivets.
Binding machines have largely replaced hand sewing for hardback binding. Modern binding machines can produce over 100 bindings an hour. They range from very simple devices that stitch only along one edge of a sheet, to more complex units that handle several sheets at a time and often include devices that apply decorative edging such as cord or leather.
Books printed on paper will not survive more than a few decades unless they are preserved in some way. Even though most books are made from durable materials, like wood, it is best practice to preserve them by backing boards, which are panels of wood or other material that attach to the back of a book to prevent it from falling apart. Backing boards are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes so they can be used to bind different types of books.
Old books should never be bought just because they are old. It is important to understand their historical significance before making such a purchase.
A treasure binding, also known as a jewelled bookbinding, is a sumptuous book cover made with metalwork in gold or silver, jewels, or ivory, in addition to the more common bookbinding materials for book covers such as leather, velvet, or other textiles. The term "treasure binding" was originally used by bookbinders to describe books covered with fine metal work.
There are several types of treasure bindings: champlevé, cloisonné, jacquard, marquetry, medallion, porcelain, and wagnerian. Each style has many different techniques that can be used when covering books with metal. For example, champlevé involves using a mold to create copies of the design inside the cover. These covers are then filled with molten gold and removed from the mold at which point they are finished off with gems and pins. Another technique used for treasure bindings is called clousonné which is based on Japanese craftsmen building wooden boxes with inlaid metal sheets. These boxes are then used to store precious manuscripts or books.
Books covered with only jeweled decorations (without any printed material) were popular in the 15th century. These are called ceremonial or regal bindings and are designed specifically to show off their contents.
Treasure bindings have become increasingly popular since the 1980s.
Thermally induced binding Perfect-bound books are often divided into parts and have a stronger paper cover that is cemented together at the spine using a strong adhesive. The parts are milled at the back, and notches are cut into the spine to allow hot glue to pierce the book's spine. This method of binding was originally developed for mass-market paperback books but is now also used for trade paperbacks and other types of books.
The raw materials for bookbinding include cloth, leather, or paper and sometimes wood. The chosen material is trimmed into sheets that are then glued together with the aid of pressure and heat until they form a single piece with no gaps between the pages.
The final step is to bind the book. The most common methods are with staples, stitches, or rings. Books bound with rings require no additional hardware; those ring-bound in ancient Egypt used wooden rings which today would be replaced with metal ones. Staple-bound books use large metal pins stuck through the entire page margin to hold the pages together. Stitches such as whip stitching are used to connect the pages together near the edges. These connections may be covered by tape or another material if desired.
Books bound with string or wire are called "string-bound". They are very durable and flexible and were commonly used for manuscripts before printed books came about.