Thursday, January 10, 2008

japanese stab binding

stack of books

inspired by the article in craft magazine, i decided to dive into some bookbinding for the first time. and if you're going to try something, why not make ten?

so, eva and i collected lots of new, recycled, and repurposed paper -- some lovely things from the paper store, recycled printer paper, and random things from around the house, like pages from my alumnae magazine, old calendars, the phone book, the instructions from eva's wooden kitchen, on down to graph paper and cut-up grocery bags. i don't have a paper cutter, but my more fabric-geared craft tools include a rotary cutter and mat, so i cut everything to size a few pages at a time that way.

borrowing some of larry's tools, like his collection of assorted clamps, i drilled the necessary holes. the pattern of holes depends on the binding pattern you're creating, but in general i put them 1/2" from the edges and spaced no more than about an inch apart.

the stitching only seems complicated the first time through -- after that, it fit with my math brain and i soon found myself making up my own patterns. however, i mostly stuck to traditional japanese patterns, such as standard, standard with variation, hemp leaf, and tortoise shell. in general, i found i needed the embroidery floss 7-9 times the length of the spine. the knot is cleverly hidden inside the book.

that's all there is to it. i really like the idea that i can simply bind my own books (for writing, photography, whatever -- preprinted or blank to be filled). a fun experiment. for better descriptions, search online or find issue 05 of craft magazine (which is my favorite issue yet).

japanese stab binding
above, top to bottom: the pattern that i don't know the name of, hemp leaf, and tortoise shell patterns.
top photo: green binding is the standard with variation pattern (standard is the same, but binding stitches are evenly spaced). books seen with tools of the trade -- clamps, drill, omnigrid ruler.


MildlyCrafty said...

That looks great, is that from the latest Craft mag? I haven't received mine, it seems to take a while to get sent to Australia :(

Kristy said...

i thought it was the most recent issue, until i remembered that i was reading the newer issue a few night ago. oops! so, it's from the issue i got in november or so (i wish i had it handy to look up the number). hopefully you have that one? whatever issue that was, it was my favorite so far, with lots of projects marked for future reference...

Anonymous said...

the name of the top binding is called "noble" binding.

Kristy said...

ah, thanks bbn. i looked around a fair amount and couldn't find the name anywhere. (i think i may have spaced the holes farther apart than would be optimal, but i wasn't that confident in my drilling :)

T said...

A reason you might've not found the name of the noble binding is that it's more commonly called Kangxi binding.
Your books look nice. I like the big dots on the paper.

Unknown said...

Well those books look awesome...great binding designs!

hugz, Pam