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Wooden laying press holding a book being worked on. Layingpress1.jpg
Wooden laying press holding a book being worked on.

Bindery refers to a studio, workshop or factory where sheets of (usually) paper are fastened together to make books, but also where gold and other decorative elements are added to the exterior of books, where boxes or slipcases for books are made and where the restoration of books is carried out.

Studio artist’s or photographer’s workshop

A studio is an artist or worker's workroom. This can be for the purpose of acting, architecture, painting, pottery (ceramics), sculpture, origami, woodworking, scrapbooking, photography, graphic design, filmmaking, animation, industrial design, radio or television production broadcasting or the making of music. The term is also used for the workroom of dancers, often specified to dance studio.

Workshop room or building, with tools, used to repair or make goods

Beginning with the Industrial Revolution era, a workshop may be a room, rooms or building which provides both the area and tools that may be required for the manufacture or repair of manufactured goods. Workshops were the only places of production until the advent of industrialization and the development of larger factories. In the 20th and 21st century, many Western homes contain a workshop in the garage, basement, or an external shed. Home workshops typically contain a workbench, hand tools, power tools and other hardware. Along with their practical applications for repair goods or do small manufacturing runs, workshops are used to tinker and make prototypes.

Factory facility where goods are made, or processed

A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery, or more commonly a complex having several buildings, where workers manufacture goods or operate machines processing one product into another.



A large traditional hand bookbinding studio or workshop may be divided into areas for different tasks such as sewing, rounding and backing the spine, attaching the boards to the book and covering the book with cloth or leather. These processes are collectively called forwarding and would be carried out in the forwarding department. This area of the bindery would typically have equipment such as sewing frames, guillotines, board choppers for cutting boards used as covers, laying presses for holding books when being worked on and nipping presses for flattening paper, board, etc. Recently, some compact material have been developed, allowing the processing of almost all the operations. [1]

Racks of brass tools and a finishing stove beneath. Brasstools1.jpg
Racks of brass tools and a finishing stove beneath.

The process of decorating or titling a book with gold or other metals, and/or different colored pieces of leather, is called finishing and is carried out in the finishing room or department. In a hand bookbindery this area would house the dozens or hundreds of brass hand tools that are used to impress gold patterns and figures onto leather one at a time, as well as the finishing stoves needed to heat these tools. In a more modern or commercial bindery, many decorative elements or letters are stamped onto a book's cover or case at the same time by use of a hot press.

Finishing (bookbinding) process of decorating the outside of a book

In bookbinding, finishing refers to the process of decorating the outside of a book, including the lettering of the spine and covers, any additional tooling, and any inlays and onlays. Finishing can also include the gilding or other decoration of the edges of the book's pages.

Modern, commercial, bookbinding outfits range in size from the local "copy shop" book binder, using techniques such as coil binding, comb binding and velo binding to factories producing tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of volumes a day using such processes as perfect binding, saddle wire binding, and case binding. The term, bindery, especially in copy and print shops, has expanded to include other forms of paper finishing, such as paper drilling, lamination, and foamcore mounting.

Coil binding commonly used book binding style

Coil binding, also known as spiral binding, is a commonly used book binding style for documents. This binding style is known by a number of names including spiral coil, color coil, colorcoil, ez-coil, plastic coil, spiral binding, plastikoil and coilbind. Documents bound with helical coil can open flat on a desk or table and offer 360 degree rotation for easy note taking. This binding style is durable and is often used for documents that need to be mailed. Spiral coil binding spines are also available in more colors and sizes than other binding styles.

Comb binding

Comb binding is one of many ways to bind pages together into a book. This method uses round plastic spines with 19 rings or 21 rings and a hole puncher that makes rectangular holes. Comb binding is sometimes referred to as plastic comb binding or spiral comb binding.

Paper drilling is a technique used in trade binderies for providing large quantities of paper with round holes. The paper can be processed as loose leaves and in brochures. The holes usually serve for storage (filing), sometimes for decorative purposes.

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Hardcover book bound with a rigid protective cover

A hardcover or hardback book is one bound with rigid protective covers. It has a flexible, sewn spine which allows the book to lie flat on a surface when opened. Following the ISBN sequence numbers, books of this type may be identified by the abbreviation Hbk.

Library binding can be divided into the two major categories of "original" and "after market". The original category is as it says, it was originally bound with the idea that the book would be used in a library setting where the book would receive harder use than those usual trade editions sold to the public.

Dust jacket paper wrap for a book

The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers. Often the back panel or flaps are printed with biographical information about the author, a summary of the book from the publisher or critical praise from celebrities or authorities in the book's subject area. In addition to its promotional role, the dust jacket protects the book covers from damage. However, since it is itself relatively fragile, and since dust jackets have practical, aesthetic and sometimes financial value, the jacket may in turn be wrapped in another jacket, usually transparent, especially if the book is a library volume.

Treasure binding

A treasure binding, or jewelled bookbinding / jeweled bookbinding is a luxurious book cover using metalwork in gold or silver, jewels or ivory, perhaps in addition to more usual bookbinding material for book-covers such as leather, velvet, or other cloth. The actual bookbinding technique is the same as for other medieval books, with the folios, normally of vellum, stitched together and bound to wooden cover boards. The metal furnishings of the treasure binding are then fixed, normally by tacks, onto these boards. Treasure bindings appear to have existed from at least Late Antiquity, though there are no surviving examples from so early, and Early Medieval examples are very rare. They were less used by the end of the Middle Ages, but a few continued to be produced in the West even up to the present day, and many more in areas where Eastern Orthodoxy predominated. The bindings were mainly used on grand illuminated manuscripts, especially Gospel books designed for the altar and use in church services, rather than study in the library.

A book cover is any protective covering used to bind together the pages of a book. Beyond the familiar distinction between hardcovers and paperbacks, there are further alternatives and additions, such as dust jackets, ring-binding, and older forms such as the nineteenth-century "paper-boards" and the traditional types of hand-binding. The term "Bookcover" is often used for a book cover image in library management software. This article is concerned with modern mechanically produced covers.

John Ratcliff of the seventeenth century is the first identifiable bookbinder in America, known for binding Eliot's Indian Bible in 1663. Ratcliff, who came from London, England, worked as a bookbinder in Boston, Massachusetts for about twenty years, from approximately 1662–1682.

Coptic binding

Coptic binding or Coptic sewing comprises methods of bookbinding employed by early Christians in Egypt, the Copts, and used from as early as the 2nd century AD to the 11th century. The term is also used to describe modern bindings sewn in the same style.

Long-stitch bookbinding

Longstitch is a bookbinding technique used for sewing together the sections of a book. There are different forms of longstitch sewings. Longstitch binding does not require glue, though there are methods that utilize glue. In his book Non Adhesive Bindings, Keith Smith describes the "Longstitch through a slotted cover" and it involves sewing each section directly through the cover where slots have been made at each sewing station. This sewing method creates a staggered line pattern visible on the spine. Keith Smith indicates that this type of longstitch was used as early as the 18th century in some parts of Europe, and possibly earlier.

Oversewn bindings are a type of bookbinding produced by sewing together loose leaves of paper to form a text block. Threads pass through small holes that have been punched in the signature's gutter margin, forming overlock stitches that attach it to previously attached sections. This method of stitching is sometimes called stab sewing. A piece of linen is then glued to the text block spine for further support. The book's spine may be rounded and backed to keep it from caving in, but if the text block is too thick, the spine is sometimes left flat. A strip of cloth called a super is then often affixed to the spine of the text block and then to the boards of the case. Oversewing can be done by hand but is usually done with a machine in a bindery.

Limp binding is a bookbinding method in which the book has flexible cloth, leather, vellum, or (rarely) paper sides. When the sides of the book are made of vellum, the bookbinding method is also known as limp vellum.

Bookbinding process of physically assembling a book

Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book of codex format from an ordered stack of paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets. The stack is then bound together along one edge by either sewing with thread through the folds or by a layer of flexible adhesive. Alternative methods of binding that are cheaper but less permanent include loose-leaf rings, individual screw posts or binding posts, twin loop spine coils, plastic spiral coils, and plastic spine combs. For protection, the bound stack is either wrapped in a flexible cover or attached to stiff boards. Finally, an attractive cover is adhered to the boards, including identifying information and decoration. Book artists or specialists in book decoration can also greatly enhance a book's content by creating book-like objects with artistic merit of exceptional quality.

Sangorski & Sutcliffe firm of bookbinders established in London

Sangorski & Sutcliffe is a firm of bookbinders established in London in 1901. It is considered to be one of the most important bookbinding companies of the 20th century, famous for its luxurious jeweled bindings that used real gold and precious stones in their book covers.

Book rebinding

Book rebinding is the renewal or replacement of the cover of a book. Typically, this requires restitching or renewal of the glue which holds the pages in place.

Bradel binding

A Bradel binding is a style of book binding with a hollow back. It most resembles a case binding in that it has a hollow back and visible joint, but unlike a case binding, it is built up on the book. Characteristic of the binding is the material covering the outside boards is separate from the material covering the spine. Many bookbinders consider the Bradel binding to be stronger than a case binding.

Thomas Mahieu, also known as Thomas Maiolus, was a French courtier and bibliophile with a special interest in decorative bookbindings.

Doublure (bookbinding)

Doublures are ornamental linings on the inside of a book. Doublures are protected from wear, compared to the outside of a book, and thus offer bookbinders scope for elaborate decoration.

Claude de Picques was an influential French bookbinder. He was closely connected with the court of King Henry II of France, serving as the personal bookbinder to Queen Catherine de' Medici from 1553 and as the personal bookbinder to the King himself from 1556 to 1574. He is thought also to have been one of the binders who worked for Thomas Mahieu.

August Sandgren Danish bookbinder

August Sandgren was a Danish bookbinder. He was one of the best craftsmen of Denmark and a great designer who never compromised with the techniques of bookbinding.


  1. "Bookbinding device Kirl'inov" . Retrieved 2011-06-01..