Handmade Book Structures

Binding Styles for Handmade Books

When clients ask us to create a book or portfolio, their book's content usually dictates its binding style. Below are some of the binding styles that we build most often, along with a short explanation of how they function.

Western Case Binding

When you think of a traditional hardcover book, this is the style you're likely thinking of. The spine is encased, the book opens to lie virtually flat, the presentation is traditional. However, photos and ephemera cannot be added to the book, or else it will fan, or "yawn" open.

Leather Manuscript Book architecture-portfolio

Long Stitch Binding

We choose to make our product line using this binding style because the books lie flat, but can accommodate added dimensional ephemera and photos. The exposed spine stitching adds a decorative element.

10-Square-Album-Standing leather handmade journal softcover-leather-album ribbon bound album

Stab Binding

A traditional Japanese binding style, Stab Binding is useful for binding flat (versus folded) pages into a book. Stab binding can accommodate photos, but only if spacers are added to the spine. This style of book doesn't lie flat when opened, but a longer horizontal dimension can minimize this issue.

two ribbon bound albums leather book stab binding

Post Binding

Much like stab binding in structure, the difference with Post Binding is that posts can be removed so content can be added to the book. This style is great for portfolios with rotating content.

post bound cover open handmade portfolio

Accordion Binding

Just like it sounds, pages are folded into an accordion, a cover is added to both ends, and the book can be held closed with a ribbon. A fun binding style, accordions are great for guest books as they can be laid open across a table and multiple people can sign at once. Photos can be added to accordion books, as they have no spine.

promo-accordion-book accordion guest book

Coptic Binding

One of the oldest binding styles, coptic is different in that the signatures (folded page groups) are exposed on the spine of the book. These books open flat, photos cannot be added (or they will yawn), but the knotted sewing threads have a wonderful look to them.

word-cloud-journal 5-coptic-bound-art-books-edition-350

Whew! That's it for now. Coming soon, Handmade Box Structures! (For now, you can check out our post on Clamshell Boxes.)