Bookbinding

By Its Cover #2

Having stripped off the old spine coverings and made the cover, it was time to get down to some of the stuff that is hidden when the book is finished. First I glued on new headbands with some blue/silver striped stock. I know that there are lots of ‘proper’ bookbinders out there that will be screaming “No! not fake headbands” at the screen, but these are to replace the old fake ones I removed previously. Headbands were originally part of the binding process and added some extra strength and protection to the book as it was pulled by the spine from a bookshelf. As the manufacturing process became mechanised, stitched headbands were replaced with fake ones like this, sewn to a cotton tape and glued into place. These have no practical function, just a decorative one.

Then a layer of scrim is glued over the spine.

A generous amount of glue is applied, which softens the scrim against the spine. The scrim adds most of strength to the joints between the spine and covers.

A strip of thin craft paper is applied to the glued-up spine. This was cut to size following the measurements taken previously. It is always a good idea to do as much preparation before you start these things as once you begin glueing, you tend to move through the process quite quickly. The paper, headbands and scrim were all measured, cut and ‘offered up’ (held into place to make a visual check that they were correct) before I started gluing.

The paper lining strip was manoeuvred into place by fingertip pressure and then smoothed with a cloth. My trusty bonescorer was then used to burnish, ensuring good contact and adhesion.

The book has to be left to dry fully now.

The next stage will be making and inserting the endpapers, then attaching the cover to the book. Ooh!

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