Bookbinding was the topic  at Fort Nisqually’s Crafts of the Past when I visited yesterday.

Jeff Wilson has been a volunteer at the Fort and a bookbinder for many years.  He had examples of various kinds of bindings.  He was teaching a simple pamphlet stitch with a small printed book, seen in the foreground here.

He also had a number of pieces of equipment.  These are from Making Simple Bookbinding Equipment byTony Firman Bookbiding

sewing frame

punching cradle

While I watched and waited for a chance to talk with him, I did a very quick sketch.

Moleskine pocket watercolor sketchbook; Staedtler pigment liner pen; Daniel Smith Watercolors

He gave some tips for inexpensive bookbinding supplies that do not require going to a specialty store.  However, both Daniel Smith and Artists and Craftsments Supply in Seattle have bookbinding supplies.

One can use Elmer’s glue instead of PVA Adhesive.  It’s not archival but much cheaper.  Book paste can also be made at home:  3 parts water and 1 part flour; whisk briskly; boil until thick.

Use a moderately thick crochet thread instead of linen thread for sewing books together.  I’ve also read to use bottonhole thread.
He recommended the YouTube tutorials by Sealemon.  While she has dozens of tutorials on a wide variety of DIY crafts, she is a treasure trove of bookbinding and book related tutorials!  Here is the summary listing of all her bookbinding tutorials.

Here is the one on coptic stitch
coptic stitch sketchbook
hardcover book with coptic stitch
Hardcover casebinding 
Other book-related tutorials
Pen Loop Holder 

He recommended Keith Smith’s books on Nonadhesive Bookbinding


About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
This entry was posted in Journal, KIt and Supplies, Sketches and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bookbinding

  1. Elaine Pang says:

    Wow! The idea of bookbinding has been hovering in my hindbrain for a while, so these links might just push it to the front! Thanks Kate!

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