I'm starting today with the first type of book I started selling in my shop, my coptic stitch journals!
|White & Gold Coptic Wedding Guestbook|
|Fabric Covered Coptic Journal|
*Bookboard (which I cut to size)
*Artist Paper (purchased in large sheets then torn to size individually by hand)
*Waxed thread (I like Crawford threads)
*Decorative paper for the covers (which I cut to size from large sheets)
*OR decorative fabric, which I make into bookcloth & cut to size
*Solid colored paper for the inside of the covers (usually Bugra paper, which I cut to size)
That's it! Once all of my papers have been torn for the pages, I fold each piece in half & put them together with several others to form each section. Books can have any number of sections, with any number of sheets in them. A section with 4 pieces of folded paper will have 16 pages total.
I then cover the bookboard with the decorative paper or bookcloth, using a PVA bookbinder's glue. I leave that between a few books to press & dry. Then I adhere the inside solid paper with the glue as well & leave that to press overnight.
Once everything is dry, it's time to mark some holes in my covers & paper. I measure out where I want the bindings sewn on the folded side of the papers & make small holes in each section. I also measure out corresponding spots on the bookboard, making sure to do so on the right side of the board (so it doesn't end up upside down!) & make small holes in each cover as well.
|Blue & Green Dots Coptic Bound Book|
Then it's time to sew! I usually sew my coptic journals with just one needle, although it can also be done with many needles, one for each row of binding knots. The coptic stitch is a simple enough pattern once you get used to it, but it can be somewhat time consuming. It can go by some other names as well. It's also known as a chain stitch binding or kettle stitch binding. This is my favorite part of the bookbinding process!
|Circus Coptic Bound Ledger Style Book|
Sections are sewn onto the book one by one, stacking each new one on top of the last one sewn, until they've all been added, and the cover is attached.
|Floral Coptic Wedding Guestbook|
The amount of time it takes to make these books can very greatly, but the whole process from start to finish for one book takes me between 40 min and an hour and a half, depending on the number of sections & pages & size. That's obviously not including time spent pressing. The boards must be pressed after gluing so that they do not bend from the moistness of the glue while they dry.
Also, I've got the process of making these books down pretty well & my system worked out so as to be as quick as possible while still producing a quality product. The way that I do this is by making my books in a kind of self-production line style. Meaning I decide how many books I'm making, then I tear ALL of my pages & cut ALL of my covers & then glue ALL of my cover designs etc... doing it this way seems to save time. It would take much longer if I made each book from start to finish individually. This is why you'll often see me add many of the same kind of book in the same week.
Do you like this style of book? It's one of my favorites because of the exposed stitching. What would you use this type of book for?
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