Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Decorative Longstitch

I finally made it back to the San Francisco Center for the Book for another bookbinding workshop. This time, I took a one-day workshop on decorative longstitch with Jody Alexander.

I recreated the class project, using an old aquatint of mine on Rives BFK for a cover. I'm not 100% sure that Rives BFK is sturdy enough, but it's pretty thick. After cutting the cover paper and folding the spine, use a template to mark the holes for both the binding and any decorative stitching in the center.

It's important to do any decorative stitching before proceeding as the center of the binding will not be accessible after the signatures are bound.

Depending on how the spine template has been designed, one or more signature templates will need to be created. My design for 8 signatures was symmetrical, so I needed 4 signature templates. Align the templates to the interior of the signatures and use an awl to puncture at the fold.

As you can see, the signatures should line up to the original binding template when they've all been punctured.

Starting from the inside of the bottom signature, begin sewing it to the spine, leaving a placeholder in the as you double back into the first hole. Similarly, at the end of the first signature, leave a placeholder.

At each end of every signature, which should be outside the spine (above), loop under the stitch immediately below. The second signature will loop where the placeholders were at each end (above).

After looping the stitch (or placeholder) below, re-enter the spine, but without re-entering the signature (below). Then exit through the hole above, in preparation for the next signature.

Once again, loop back under the previous stitch.

Re-enter the puncture just exited, but this time stitch through the next signature again. Continue stitching each signature, repeating the double looping process at each end. At the end of the last signature, tie-off and trim!

After all signatures are attached, fold up the flap for a tight seal. Voila!

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