Bookbinding: a Step-By-Step Guide

Bookbinding is a process in which new books can be created and old books can receive new life. Whether you are looking to just have a few pages of a document bound together or you’re thinking about turning a manuscript into a bound novel, a Denver bookbinding company can help you turn your vision into a reality.

Bookbinding Denver

Make sure you know all the steps before starting a bookbinding project!

Though the process for binding training manuals and many other materials is much simpler, we thought it would be interesting to share a basic step-by-step guide to the process of binding a high quality book.

How Books Are Bound

Step 1: Page Preparation

First, the pages need to be prepared to be bound. If they are already in a book, existing covers need to be removed, and torn pages are mended. If there are staples, they are removed. If a new book is being bound, the pages are trimmed so they are all the same size and properly aligned.

Step 2: Putting the Pages Together

The pages are often assembled and sewn together by hand. The person doing the sewing begins at one end of a section and sews along the center fold. The next section is added at the other end, and each section is secured to the previous one.

Another technique used for putting pages together is called oversewing. This process is used to stitch together books that are printed on single sheets.

Step 3: Adding End Papers

End papers are the extra sheets placed between the cover and the first and last sections of a book. These sheets may be sewn or glued in a book, and eventually, one is glued to the cover. Once the end papers are in place, the spine of the book is glue.

Step 4: Edge Trimming

Once the spine has been glued, the top, bottom and opening edges of the book are trimmed to ensure uniformity. Only a minimal amount is trimmed off.

Step 5: Rounding

To distribute any build-up caused by sewing and to counteract a concave curve when the book is opened, a rounding machine is used to round the book’s spine.

Step 6: Backing

A backing machine is used to shape the spine so that it is wider than the hinges of the book. This locks the book into the cover and prevents the book’s eventual tendency to curve in the opposite direction.

Step 7: Adding Headbands

Headbands are glued to the bottom and top of the spine. This gives the spine edge a more finished look. Though typically purchased in rolls, headbands are sometimes individually woven or braided by hand.

Step 8: Mull

A strong cloth known as the mull is glued to the spine for extra strength and to soak up glue. The flaps of the mull extend over onto the front and back of the book, and they are glued to the cover and end paper.

Step 9: Cutting the Material

Two book boards are cur slightly larger than the size of the book. To prevent the cover from warping, the grain of the book boar needs to run vertically. During this step, a spine board that bends to match the curvature of the spine is also cute.

Step 10: Case Making

The process in which the book board is glued to a cloth material to make a book cover is known as case making. The cloth needs to be folded and securely sealed before the cover goes through the case making press.

Step 11: Goldstamping

No high-end book is completely finished until the author, title and any other decals are lines are stamped on the cover. This can be done with individual brass or lead letters in a gold-stamping machine or with a computerized goldstamping machine.

Step 12: Pasting and Pressing

Pasting and pressing are the final steps in the bookbinding process. The outside endpapers are glued to the cover, sealed by a press and placed between boards to dry overnight.

Denver Bookbinding

As you can see, the process of binding a book can be quite involved. Whether you’re interested in a high-end project such as the one outlined above or you’re in need of some help with a simpler Denver bookbinding project, The Print Connection is up for the challenge! To learn more, give us a call today at 303-779-1420.