QUEENSLAND BOOKBINDERS’ GUILD
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR A WELL BOUND BOOK
These criteria apply to a case-bound book, covered with cloth or paper and sewn on tapes with tipped on endpapers.
The grain in all the components should be vertical.
The method of sewing and the thickness of the thread should be selected to give a 1020% swell.
The number of tapes should be appropriate to the physical properties of the book. The bigger the book, the more tapes. Several narrow tapes are better than a few wide ones.
The sewing should have a unifom, firm tension and the kettle stitches should not be too tight or too loose.
If the threads are joined inside the section, the ends should be trimmed to 4-5mm and frayed.
Spine linings should be strong enough to support the spine, but not so thick that the book will not open freely.
The book should be comfortable to handle – no sharp edges or corners
All parts of the book should be colour coordinated; cover, endpapers, headbands and text paper. White endpapers do not look good with off-white or cream text paper.
The endpapers should be the right weight; a large book needs heavier endpapers than a small one and they should always be heavier than the text paper.
The boards should be quite flat and fit the block. They should be the right weight for the block.
The boards should open horizontally without disturbing the flyleaves.
The book should open easily and lie comfortably on a flat surface.
The spine should be a uniform width and curvature from head to tail.
If stuck-on headbands are used, they should pass exactly from shoulder to shoulder and the embroidered part should lie on the head or tail of the block. The tape should not be visible.
When the boards are open, the book should stand on them vertically.
The squares should be appropriate sizes; large book, larger squares than for a small book.
The edges of the text should be smooth and clean with no guillotining marks.
If the block is backed, backing should start in the middle and be the same on both sides.
If the tapes and scrim show under the pastedown, they should be neat, straight, and of uniform length.
The turn-ins should be a uniform width.
In a cloth binding, the corner turnins should overlap by 3mm, at 45º to the board edges and should be neat.
Paper bound boards should have the corners reinforced with a tiny cloth corner or vellum to prevent wear.
There should be no wrinkles or bubbles in the pastedowns.
The pastedowns should be trimmed to equal squares all round.