Friday, 21 November 2008

Chain Stitch Tutorials

Handmade journals with a chain stitch binding have become very popular and people who are interested in learning how to make books often want to start with this method. If you are interested in a quick historic overview of chain stitch binding, there is some information here on our blog.

Here I have compiled a list of some online tutorials and books, for both single needle and multiple needle variations of the chain stitch binding. If you are trying to learn this sewing technique, pick one that makes sense to you and stick with it. If you have a favorite chain stitch tutorial that isn't mentioned here, leave a comment and tell us about it!

Using One Needle

Website: Cat Sidh’s Single Needle Chain Stitch

Website: Books and Beyond, Coptic Book tutorial Book.htm

Video: Coptic Stitch Binding with hard cover

Video: Coptic Binding

Book: Creating Handmade Books by Alisa Golden

Book: Non-Adhesive Binding, Books without Paste or Glue (Vol 1) by Keith Smith

Book: Non-Adhesive Binding, Exposed Spine Sewings (Vol 3) by Keith Smith

Using Multiple needles

PDF: Coptic Binding by Emma Jane Hogbin

Website: Binding a Metal Book with a Coptic Stitch

Book: Non-Adhesive Binding, Exposed Spine Sewings (Vol 3) by Keith Smith

Book: Non-Adhesive Binding, Sewing Single Sheets (Vol 4) by Keith Smith

Friday, 14 November 2008

Saint-Armand Paper

Previous posts have discussed various papers used in bookarts, but I didn’t see any mention of Saint-Armand papers made in Montreal (Canada). They are one of my favourite papers with wonderful textures and colours, so I thought I would share a little about them with you.

The Saint-Armand paper mill manufactures a variety of papers, including handmade and machine-made. The mill was established in 1979 by David Carruthers, who comes from a family associated with paper. I met David Carruthers over 10 years ago at a workshop, and I remember him telling us you could tell the pH of a paper by its taste (yes, with your tongue!) but I haven't developed that skill yet!

Saint-Armand papers are made from rag pulp rather than paper pulp so it is a “green“ product. They recycle mostly cotton off-cuts from clothing manufacturers and also linen, flax straw, jute and sisal, beating it by machine with a Hollander beater. (Wouldn’t it be great to be able to recycle used clothing at home into paper?) The handmade papers are made one sheet at a time following the same methods we’d use in our home studios. The sheets have 4 deckled edges and no grain direction. The machine made papers are made with the same pulp but on a fourdrinier paper machine.

MyHandboundBooks has used a white Saint Armand paper embedded with parsley flakes for the cover of this little sketchbook.

MyHandboundBooks has used Saint Armand paper as a liner for this book.

As a book artist, I appreciate the strength and beauty of Saint-Armand papers.
Their thicker papers can be used for covers, and they have a lovely selection of thinner papers which would be nice for the pages. Some of their papers are quite textured including the Umbrella paper. My local retailer made a portfolio from Umbrella paper and has been using it for years.

PrairiePeasant has used this paper for a crossed structure binding.

The mill does not sell directly to the public, but they deal with many retailers across Canada and the US. I am not aware if their papers are available in other places around the world--perhaps someone else might comment on this.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

BEST Pick for November 11th

In recognition of November 11th, Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, or by any other name around the world.

This journal is from Cover image is an original, signed, lino print by her husband called "A New Day" inspired by old war comics. The journal is bound using an exposed Greek stitching. There is a mixture of papers, Japanese Chiri and Unryu, Nepalese Lotka, Thai Banana papers for the fly leaf and endpapers, and 96 pages of quality cotton rag paper.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Inside the Book

A question was posed by one of our readers regarding what kind of paper to use in bookbinding, thus inspiring this posting!

I have been experimenting with different "innards" for my journals, most recently working on a journal for myself with a mix of sketch paper and watercolor paper.

What type of paper you use to fill your journal depends on the intended use. For my journal, I wanted something I could sketch and draw in, but also use watercolor paints so I alternated the papers.

If you're making a journal to sell, think about your target market, considering the price your buyer would be willing to pay. That may determine what type of paper you use. For example, if your target sales price is $10, it wouldn't make sense to purchase a ready made text block or use high quality watercolor paper exclusively. Likewise, if you're making a high quality journal, a buyer would expect a nice weight of paper inside.
Here are some choices for the insides of your journal:

Text blocks
You can make your own text block or purchase a ready made one from a supplier, a few of which are listed here.

The Paper Source

Watercolor paper
90 lb works good for covering the book board as it isn't quite as bulky on the corners. Inside you can include a range of weights, 90 lb and up, or one weight exclusively.

Sketch paper
I wouldn't recommend anything lower than 60 lb.
50 lb or less tends to be too thin, and also tears easily when sewing.

Text paper
Is a loose term for anything ranging from copy paper, writing paper, or lightweight sketch paper.

This is by no means an all inclusive article on text blocks and as always, I welcome your comments. Thanks for your informative responses on our previous postings and I look forward to learning more on this subject from you!