As a request from my friend Sam Gray I have tried to take some more, and perhaps better, pictures of my hand-sewn books. I have found it surprisingly difficult to take good pictures of the books, much perhaps due to the contrast from the paper. Comments are welcome, in English, German and Swedish, and perhaps other languages as well…
Technique: Coptic stitch binding, one long thread, one needle
Cover board: Two layers of cardboard from old archival boxes, glued together. (I have a huge pile of never used boxes. From one box I get the four cardboard pieces for one book.)
Number of signatures: 6
Signature paper: Clairefontaine Pollen Ivory, 120 gm/m2, 12 sheets.
Cloth: Canapetta 1421
Paper inside cover: Remondini rombi, from Grafiche Tassotti, Italy.
Glue: Coccoina, Italian made glue from potato-starch
Thread: Irish linen, waxed with an old candle
Comment: I think that the size of this codex is optimal for this technique, (A6). Of course you can add signatures up to eight without problems.
Flaws: I accidentally turned a couple of signatures upside down so there is a slight misalignment if you look carefully. When i fastened one end of the thread I happened to sew through the thread itself and it was jammed beyond rescue, it can easily be seen on the pictures.
Comments are welcome! Kommentarer även på svenska välkomnas!
Thanks to: Djura Bok & Pappersverkstad, http://www.djurabok.se/internetbutik/ for providing me with materials and basic tools.
Epilogue: I have now made a second codex, with eight signatures 128 pages, without major flaws but the paper inside the back cover isn’t exactly positioned. When I get the right light I will try to take better pictures this time.
NB: This is an old post. Please take a look at these postings instead:
This is my first attempt with Coptic bookbinding. The objective with this project was to show that with ordinary office paper, some cardboard and a linen thread I could, in fact, make a book without glue, cutting-machine, press etc. Mission completed.
The book feels stable, and can lay flat at any page. What it lacks is finish and elegance. Next time I will try to be more precise with cutting the cardboard and making the holes. I also need to make the cover a bit wider as the binding makes the cover to retract a couple of mm. Perhaps I also will glue two pieces of cardboard together to make the cover stiffer and perhaps glue on a fancy marbled paper.
Addendum: On Fountain Pen Network there has been a discussion thread about this coptic binding of mine: