Monday, October 11, 2010

Leonardo Sewn Up

          I decided to sew the book on vellum slips, strips of vellum, which are then laced into the cover giving a secure board attachment. In a previous blog entry I described how I dyed the vellum red, and when this was dry, cut it into strips about 3mm wide and 70 mm long (I use metric measurements because of the small scale).

          Before sewing the sections must be pricked up, that is, holes must be made along the folds of each section, through which the needle will pass. This is done using a needle mounted in a handle, or sharp awl or similar tool and a pricking guide. The pricking guide is a strip of paper indicating the exact position of the holes for sewing the slips, tapes or cords, and the kettle stitches which are used at head and tail of the book to secure each section to the previous one. 
I then taped two of the slips to my litho stone (a large piece of limestone originally used for lithography but often used by bookbinders for paring leather, as it is a soft stone that doesn't dull the paring knife). You could equally well tape it to the edge of a counter top, table etc. The slips must be exactly positioned according to the pricking guide that you used to make the sewing holes. The book was then sewn all-along, going over the slips as if they were tapes and including the 'made' endpapers. The spine was then lightly glued up and left to dry. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blimey, Jan, it's looking fantastic! The binding process looks very fiddly and complicated. The final result is so worth it tho'.