Wednesday, 9 May 2007

First coptic-stitch notebook: "The Alphabet"

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I finished my first coptic (chain) stitch notebook. The boards are sewn on together with the pages in this kind of binding, instead of being pasted down onto endpapers that are bound in with the pages like in the previous books I made. This makes for faster assembly. Endpapers are optional, but of course a pastedown endpaper is necessary to cover the inside of the boards. The pastedown can either be the first page of the book, which will strengthen the construction of the book, or a separate piece of paper cut to the right dimensions. I am relatively pleased with the result, except that the gaps between the signatures are rather large, but I expect that with practice I will be able to make tighter bindings.

When opened and laid flat, the edges of the boards touch and protect the spine. However, it is usual to put books like this into a loose protective cover, traditionally made of leather, which I plan to try soon.

The cover is coloured heavy paper and I used an alphabet stencil and acrylic paint on it. My mother remarked that is doesn’t look like a book, but rather like a piece of painted wood, which I think is right.

On the spine you can see where I drew the thread a little tight and cut through the spine of one of the signatures. This is always a possibility when sewing books. In this case I will probably cover the spine with ribbon to hide the mistake.

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