|A text block made of signatures|
|A text block and hard-back casing|
Text blocks can be made in different ways, but a common method is sewing together a group of signatures, as seen in the picture above. Signatures are stacks of paper folded together, and are what most hardback books are made of (the distinct “u”s are often hidden behind last week’s headbands!). The signatures are stacked one on top of the other and sewn together, creating a large bundle of paper—what contains the images and words that make up a book—known as a text block. When sewing together more than a few signatures, linen tapes (as seen above) are often used to keep the text book tight and neatly together.
A completed text block may also include endsheets, pieces of paper (usually of a heavier weight) that mark the boundary between cover and text. Though the process is different for casing in hard- and soft- cover books, both text blocks often use endsheets in order to be properly glued into the their respective front and back covers.
Don’t forget to join us next week as we discover another term!
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