Saturday, June 6, 2009
Stitches and Sewings for Bookbinding Structures
One of the reasons I was attracted to the world of book arts was for all of the wonderful stitches that were possible. I remember something called a sewing card when I was a child...a card with connect-the-dots hole and a colorful string to weave in and out of the holes. Perhaps because I was successful with that card I felt emboldened to continue in that "field" as an adult. ;-)
I almost missed this on the book arts forum, but Betsy Palmer Eldridge and the Guild of Book Workers have generously published a wonderful document on their web site that collects sixty different techniques of sewing from the different bookbinding traditions. Originally a presentation at the GBW/CBBAG conference in Toronto in 2008, its history actually began at Paper Book Intensive in 1991 when I imagine a group of artists began to try and collect all of the ways that they knew to assemble a book using thread. (Being PBI, I also imagine that it was quite late at night and that there might have been drinking involved. They have a lot of fun at PBI!)
The diagrams are in color...each stitch is in a different color thread and there are helpful symbols for where to start and end. You can find the PDF here. There is also a version available to print out and sew together yourself, if you'd rather have a book than a handout. It's a very valuable and generous resource.