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Art of Bookbinding: Past and Present

Aug 28, 2008
Bookbinding is an art that might be more of a hobby than a trade for many nowadays, but it is still a fantastic skill to practice. There are many styles of bookbinding, some more prevalent in the past, but many styles of bookbinding are very modern.

Coptic bookbinding was first used by early Coptic Christians in Egypt, and was one of the earliest forms of bookbinding. Coptic bookbinding was perfected in the early 2nd century and was used for nearly millennium before giving way to other methods of bookbinding.

While the original Coptic method faded away before returning in modern times, the term "Coptic Binding" can also refer to modern books that are sewn and bound in a similar fashion to the original style. Binding was accomplished by taking separate sections of parchment, often on papyrus scroll, and sewing the individual sections together through folds. This style would be critical in moving from basic scrolls or parchments to modern books.

Long stitch bookbinding is one of the bookbinding methods that evolved from the Coptic bookbinding tradition. It's hard to nail down exactly what a long stitch technique is since this isn't just one method of long stitch bookbinding, but there are many different forms of long stitch bookbinding. The one common detail the long stitch methods all have in common is that long stitching goes through a slotted cover, meaning the sections aren't glued to the cover, but literally sewn in.

The most common modern form of bookbinding is simply referred to as hardcover bookbinding. This is a very general term that refers to any type of binding that includes a hard protective cover. These include all the brand new books you see released at a Barnes and Noble.

Another modern form of binding books, most often used for large reports or presentations, is spiral bookbinding. This is also known as plastic coil binding. This is a good example of a great style of biding that works for effectiveness while not running up the cost.

Bookbinding is rarely done by hand now unless it is for repairs of older or damaged books. This is part of the reason that many individuals who specialize in the repair of damaged bindings also have some relation to collecting antique books, or may even do both, as the two can go hand in hand.

Bookbinding equipment has made the process much faster, and this change in technology has allowed for mass production on a scale that the original bookbinders couldn't possibly have imagined.
About the Author
If you would like to know more about bookbinding in general, please visit at Bookbinding.

Or visit here to find some bookbinding tutorials.

Thanks for reading!
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