Monday, March 24, 2014

Leather wrap book with locking and long stitch binding

Our next book was a leather wrap book.  For this book we learned how to tear down paper.  We were making books with seven signatures of eight folios each.  For that we needed to tear our larger pieces of paper into 56 sheets of paper.  After tearing, the paper was divided up into eight stacks and folded to make the seven signatures.  Decorative endpapers were added to the front first and last signatures.

We would used both the linking and long stitch to secure the signatures to the leather wrap.  But before stitching, we needed to punch holes in the signatures and the leather wrap.  To do that we created two jigs.  One for the holes that would be punched in the signatures and the other for the holes that would be punched in the leather (seen at left under the needle awl).

Precise measurements are a large part of both the function and look of these books.  Using the jigs helped us punch the holes accurately.  Note: it is worth checking and double checking before punching the holes.  Once the holes were punched and the needle was threaded it was time to start sewing!   I used turquoise 4 cord linen waxed thread and a straight blunt tapestry needle.  At left is a photo of the book after I had finished attaching the first signature.  Only six more to go.

To the right is the book after I had finished sewing in all seven signatures, snugging the thread and tying the final knot.  The book is sitting on my class notebook open to the page with my notes on how the two jigs align.  Hollis provide us with great handouts, but I find taking notes and drawing diagrams while working helps me fix ideas in my memory.  And there was a lot to remember.

The final touch was to add a matching glass bead and hand twined thread closure.  The bead was one of the many beautiful glass beads Steve made in class that week, and it was a perfect match to the colors of the leather.  The hand twisted thread used threads that matched the two colors of the bead.  Hollis and Cheryl taught me how to correctly sew on buttons and twine thread, for which I am very thankful.  Steve is now the happy owner of a handmade book.

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