TIP: Click the Video tab to see this activity in action
Bookbinding is the actual process of physically assembling a book from a number of separate sheets or sections of paper or other material, including the addition of a cover which may be plain of a decorative nature
Bookbinding is a specialist skill which seems to be diminishing in popularity due to cheap books and a lesser demand for quality binding on books. Master bookbinders and book restorers are in demand to maintain and repair older books
Bookbinding can take place in the home - maybe it is a cottage industry, or even maybe a hobby. Also specialist restorers may have premises or be employed by libraries or even printers.
In Restoration hand binding, the pages and book covers are often times hundreds of years old and the handling of these pages has to be undertaken with great care.
Books can be bound in many different materials, some of the more common materials being leather and cloth. When talking about bookbinding as a craft, hardbound books are most common. Any sewn book can be pulled apart and rebound into a hardbound book by adding a case. A hardcover or hardbound book has rigid covers and is stitched in the spine. A paperback or soft cover book consists of a number of signatures (group of pages) between covers of much heavier paper, glued together at the spine.
The restorative binding process can extend a book?s life for many years, and is necessary in order to preserve some books that may be of extreme importance yet only a few copies remain. It is vitally urgent that such books are cared for in the most loving manner befitting the books? rarity and subject matter. This is the job of a bookbinder in a resotrative role. Patience and a keen eye for detail, as well as pride in the operation are all key features.
The processes of binding a book by hand are much the same as they were 500 years ago
The necessary equipment includes a sewing frame to hold the folded sheets while the sections are being sewed to the cords or tapes that run across the back. Also needed are two presses.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
Please be advised that this record has not necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information. The information and images for this activity are supplied by the general public, Please contact us if there is a breach of copyright or you wish to improve the data.