I’ve just completed my first successful binding using the ‘caterpillar’ method. I had experimented a couple of times before, just as a sampler, each time getting better, but this is the first time I have bound a book using the method. As you can probably see from these images, this is quite a complicated procedure, with each caterpillar created from a single thread, sewn with two needles.
The book is my standard sample size (130 x 90mm) so is quite small, and I used a standard linen thread. Some of the close up images make it look much bulkier, but this is because I got in really close to show the complexity of the stitching.
As this is an unsupported binding, there is a bit of ‘give’ and flexibility in the finished book, so I probably wouldn’t use this on much larger books unless it was combined with a kettle stich at a few points along the spine. The wrapping of the thread creates the illusion of a raised cord, and can be packed (packing is the term given to wrapping thread around, to add bulk and protect the threads beneath) to give a more solid appearance. I decided at the beginning to create a loose packed stich as I wanted to reveal more of the structure. Apart from this, my earlier experiments had been much tighter packed, so I wanted to see how the looser packing affected the tightness of the overall process.
Mmm. Nice. I think I’ll do this again…