Longstitch bookbinding is a form of exposed binding that was commonly used in 16th through 19th century Europe. This technique can be completed without the use of adhesives and can be used for any soft cover book, such as leather, vellum, or paper. This binding is commonly used to bind new books, as well as to rebind and restore older works.
Slotted Spine longstitch is basically exactly what it sounds like. Slots are made horizontally in the spine of the book, and each section is sewn directly to the cover through these slots. This technique was actually developed by the Library of Congress in order to restore books that have fallen into disrepair, but it is currently used for rebinding and binding alike.
|“Thick” Longstitch book by Dennis Yuen|
Longstitch books generally open fully and easily and travel well, making them a great option for notepads and sketch books.
|Longstitch binding by Sara Parkel|
The nature of the exposed stitching allows for many beautiful and creative stitching variations. Artists can alter the pattern to include crosses, change the length of the stitches to create patterns, and utilize different colored thread.
|Longstitch binding by Rory Golden|
If you are interested in further exploration of this technique, the Center is offering a class on Longstitch Variations, taught by Rory Golden on Fenruary 16th and 17th. Participants will create three blank books: smallish book with a leather cover, paste paper end sheets, and a stiff spine; another with laminated paper case cover using a print or image you will bring in for re-purposing; and a large (11″ x 8 ½” pages) cloth bound, hard cover sketchbook (learning to inset an image on the front). Students will become familiar with two types of stitching and bookbinding materials and basic techniques. It is a great opportunity to absorb a lot of information and create three works of art, so sign up here!
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