|French 18th century bindery.|
Today’s term-forwarding -as it applies to bookbinding at least- refers to everything that happens behind the scenes. Here’s how the Canadian Bookbinders Guild defines forwarding:
Traditionally, the craft of bookbinding is divided into the areas of forwarding and finishing. Forwarding consists of all the procedures leading up to the decoration of the covers. That is, folding the leaves into pages and gathering into signatures or quires, sewing them together, adding endpapers, attaching boards, and covering. In other words, the binding proper.
Sometimes the earlier stages- folding, collating, gathering, sewing signatures together- would be treated as a separate group of activities, and forwarding would refer specifically to adding endpapers, attaching boards, and covering. Forwarding would be done by a man called the forwarder; all of the preparing of the text block for the forwarder would be usually carried out by women, who would be employed for these tasks only and would not be allowed to do any forwarding.
|Frederick W. Young, forwarder at the Harcourt Bindery|
Once a book was forwarded, it would be turned over to the finisher- the person who would do the finishing on the book. Finishing describes the process of decorating the finished binding, which usually includes gilding or gold-tooling.
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