Book Binding Techniques

Different Kinds of Book Binding Techniques You Must Know

There is something quite magical about a book bound to perfection. The way it commands space on the shelf and beckons you to open it. To secure this type of book, fold the pages precisely in half. Then, mark five evenly spaced dots at the crease.

Perfect Binding

Perfect binding is a popular softcover bookbinding method that provides books with a crisp, professional look. It utilizes robust thermal glue to ensure a strong and secure bond. It makes the book durable and enables it to lay flat when opened. It’s also lightweight and portable, making slipping into a handbag or briefcase easy. The process begins when pages are stacked together, and the edges that will form the spine are roughened to improve adhesion. Afterward, the spine is glued, and a cover is wrapped around it. The remaining three sides of the bonded book are trimmed to create the finished publication. Different types of book binding are ideal for workbooks, handbooks, calendars, and journals because they can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It also provides a clean, modern look and is an excellent option for larger print runs because it can be produced at a lower cost than other methods.

In addition to traditional Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) glue, Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) glue is becoming increasingly popular for perfect binders. It offers superior adhesion and flexibility, especially in high temperatures. Another benefit of perfect binding is that it allows for a higher page count than other binding techniques. However, the number of pages must be divisible by 2 to avoid page creep and ensure a stable spine.

Thread Stitching

The type of thread you choose to stitch your project can significantly affect the quality and look of your finished book. You can find a variety of different lines in a range of colors, weights and materials. Generally, higher-quality threads are less likely to break and snag in the sewing machine than lower-quality ones. Thread can be made from cotton, silk, polyester and wool fibers. Some are mercerized (shiny, smooth, stronger), others are unmercerized (softer and more absorbent). Thread can also be spun with a core filament or both. The line’s construction can be described in the number of plies, twists and cords (see this graphic for more info).

When selecting a general-purpose sewing thread, it is important to consider the thread fiber make-up, sewing properties and construction type. Generally, you want the thread tenacity to match or be slightly stronger than the fabric. A great option is to use a polyester or poly-wrapped filament thread. It is the most common and affordable sewing thread on the market. It is a good choice for most sewing projects, especially those that require high-speed stitching. It is highly durable and fade-resistant, as well as washable. It is also a good option for embroidery and monogramming.

Hard Cover

Hardcover book binding offers a distinguished look that stands out on bookshelves. While many newer types of bookbinding have come onto the market, hardcover remains the preferred style for classic literature and other high-end products. It is partly because hardcover books are typically sturdier than paperbacks. Hardcovers feature premium paper and a sturdy cover, unlike mass-market paperbacks that are smaller in trim size and fatter with a lower-quality stock. The more flexible spine of hardcover books allows them to lie flat when opened, facilitating reading and taking notes. They often include a dust jacket featuring the book title and author’s name.

With hardcover book printing, you can add various custom finishing options to make your print stand out. Choose from rounded corners, foil stamping, marbling, staining, handwork and even custom leather to add a truly bespoke touch to your book. While hardcovers are more durable than paperbacks, they still require a little more care than ebooks or softcover books. While this may be fine for most readers, it is important to consider your book’s audience and intended use before deciding on the perfect binding method.

Saddle Stitching

Although “saddle stitching” conjures up images of equestrians or garment workers, this is a very popular and effective way to bind booklets, catalogs, menus, calendars and brochures. It involves taking larger printed sheets and folding them into pages, known as signatures, that are then stapled together along the spine. Commercial printing equipment uses heavy-duty precision folders to ensure the signatures have tight folds that allow the finished booklet to lay flat once it is bound. Smaller copy shops typically use less expensive and less precise staplers, which can cause the spine to have a more unattractive, rounded appearance.

When saddle stitched, books tend to lie fairly flat once opened and have a professional look, especially when the spine is trimmed for a clean edge. The one drawback to this method is that it has a different durability than perfect binding, making it less suitable for books that will undergo long-term use or frequent handling. Another option is to choose spiral coil binding. This technique involves inserting and twisting a plastic or metal coil through slots or holes running down the cover’s spine edge and pages. It allows the book to open 360 degrees and is ideal for reports, presentations, proposals, cookbooks and maintenance guides.