Folding Paper and Board
Remember to fold paper with the grain.
Align the upper left with the upper right
corner of the sheet, match the edges
carefully, and hold the sheet steady with
one hand while you push down on the
fold with your thumbnail or a bone fol¬
der. Start in the middle and smooth up-
To create an accordion fold, deter¬
mine the height and width of the
finished product and cut your paper strip
in the needed size. Fold the left edge of
the strip over in the desired width, turn
the strip around and repeat the proce¬
dure. If the strip is not long enough for
the needed number of folds, leave an al¬
lowance of У г inch (1 centimeter) after
the last fold and glue the next section of
paper strip to it. The first and last folds
form the covers.
Folders, Covers, and Tubes
The easiest way to make a folder for a
single or doubled sheet is to cut a piece
of lightweight board to the height and
twice the width of the sheet that is to be
protected. Add an additional one-third
of the width for a flap and У\ь inch (1
millimeter) on all sides as overhang (Fig¬
Another method of making a board
cover is to fold in half twice a piece of
board four times the finished size (Fig¬
ure 397). Cover the board with paper
(Figure 398). These folders may be used
for single or folded sheets.
To secure a folded sheet in the cover
use cording, a thin strip of leather, or bet¬
ter yet, of parchment, around the fold and
tie the ends at the bottom of the folder.
Slip the lettered page between folder
For particularly important projects,
you may wish to consult a professional
bookbinder and delegate this task to him
Single sheets, like diplomas or certifi¬
cates, can also be rolled up and secured
with a leather thong, or the roll may be
placed in a parchment or leather tube. A
little-known procedure is to line the in¬
side of a sheet of parchment with paper
in a hue that matches both the parch¬
ment and the sheet with the text, and to
attach the document to it along the upper
edge. A leather loop serves as closure.
Binding Multiple Pages
Several methods can be used to bind a
number of handlettered pages.
Simple Binding. Arrange no more than
four folded sheets to make a signature:
the number of sheets depends on the
weight of the paper and on the total vol¬
ume of the finished book.
More involved pieces merit the use of
endpapers, which are pages that connect
the book block to the cover. One part is
attached to the inside of the cover, the
other half is loose. Beyond its practical
purpose, the endpaper also has aesthetic
value. It can be made from the same
paper as the rest of the book or from a
decorative paper in a complementary or
contrasting color. If you use endpapers,
be sure to fold them with the textured
side outward and the smooth sides fac¬
ing each other.
The cover for a single signature can
consist of two folded sheets of paper,
one inside the other. Two or more sig¬
natures require a more complicated
cover. Glue a folded page onto the first
page of the first signature and onto the
last page of the last signature. Apply
adhesive along 'A-inch (5-millimeter)
wide strip and parallel to the fold (Fig¬
ure 399) and set it onto the first signa¬
ture. Set it slightly away from the fold,
to ensure that it will not be caught by
the needle during sewing. Smooth the
glued area with your hand.
393 Accordion fold.
394 Parallel fold.
400 spacing of upper and lower stitches
Й й Й
To sew you will need a needle and
sewing thread of natural or other colors;
twine and narrow strips of leather or
parchment are all suitable materials. Ar¬
range the signature so that it lies parallel
to the edge of the table and open it.
Stitch from the inside out, starting in the
middle of the sheet. Stitch back in at a
distance of about 1 inch (2 centimeters)
from the upper or lower edge. Repeat
the process for the other side: push the
needle out through the same center hole
and back in near the other edge at the
same distance as before. Tie the ends of
the thread and cut them short. It looks
good if the distance from the lower edge
is kept slightly wider than the distance
from the upper edge (Figure 400), or if
the upper and lower stitch holes corres¬
pond with the edges of the text block.
Figure 401 shows the path of the thread.
If you want to sew two signatures, put
them on top of each other and arrange
them as before. About 1 inch (2 cen¬
timeters) away from the lower edge start
stitching from the outside in, continue
out 1 or 2 inches (2 to 4 centimeters)
further, stitch back in, and go on until
you reach the other edge. It is best to
mark the position of the holes with a
pencil before sewing. Connect the two
signatures by picking up the threads of
the first one when you sew the second.
Keep the threads taut, knot well at the
end, and cut the threads short. Figure
402 shows the path of the thread.
It is difficult for the novice to bind
more than two signatures. The tech¬
niques involved are hard to master and
best left to the professional. The methods
described earlier cannot provide enough
stability for a substantial volume, which
requires reinforcement tapes, a guillotine
to trim the block, and other equipment,
as well as dexterity and practice.
The Side-Sewn Book. Hold the block be¬
tween thumbs and index fingers of both
hands and knock it gently against a table
top, upper side first, spine last. Arrange
the block parallel to the edge of the table
and punch holes with an awl at intervals
of about 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8 centime¬
ters) and Ул inch (5 millimeters) from the
spine. There should be an allowance of
Уг inch (15 millimeters) from the upper
and lower edges. Punch from the back
side. Figure 404 shows the path of the
A side-sewn book can also be held to¬
gether by metal fasteners. These are easy
to attach, but they may rust, and the
block usually needs an additional cover
to hide the unattractive fastenings.
In side-sewing the threads are on the
outside of the covers, and sometimes
encircle the spine as well (Figure 405).
If strips of parchment or bleached
threads are used, the effect can be quite
Side-sewing can be used for single
sheets or for folded sheets with the fold
placed towards the spine of the book.
The first and the last page double as
endpapers. However, additional stability
as well as elegance are gained if the folds
are placed at the outside, or fore-edge,
of the book rather than at the binding
edge (Figure 406). This page arrange¬
ment, combined with the side-sewing
technique, is known as Chinese or Japan¬
ese binding. It has several benefits. If the
paper is not opaque, you avoid show-
through because you are writing only on
one side of the sheet. Thus, if you make
an error, you will only have to rewrite
two pages, rather than four.
Side-sewn books can be glued into an
additional cover, but it is more common
to attach the covers to the block by sew¬
ing. Use thin cardboard covered with
heavy paper in a nice color (Figure 407).