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Japanese stab binding



Howdy,

Well, it figures that the one kind of binding style I have relative
experience in gets discussed while I'm on vacation.

Sam has mentioned some great suggestions.  I mix traditional Japanese &
Western materials, but still try to use Ikegami's methods.  I use any
decorated paper the suits my fancy, provided it's neither too heavy nor too
light.  I use papers that feel sturdy enough to withstand use, but not so
thick that I can't easily crease it or sew through it.  For binding thread
I use emboidery thread (as recommened to me by Cathy Atwood) because it's
cheap and comes in just about any color you could want, which makes it nice
to match up with the decorative paper.  That, and I use Western paper in
the textblock, trimmed to size on a guillotine.

I skip the little endcaps Ikegami eschews, mainly because I'm trying to do
some production work feel it would take too much extra time to do them.  I
sell my books in a local shop and am trying to keep the price of them as
low as possible while making available something attractive and sturdy.

I would call my books traditional only in the binding method.  The
materials certainly are not traditional, but I couldn't sell many books if
I went that route.  Traditionally, as I understand it, the toji bindings
involved undecorated wrappers & uncolored threads.  While I agree that such
bindings have a natural beauty, customers would grow tired of it rather
quickly, and the materials would drive up the cost of the books
dramatically.  I recently met some of the people who buy the books, and
they were asking for other colors, lined papers, all sorts of
non-traditional things.

As far as using Ikegami's method vs Smith's, go with Ikegami's.  I just
don't feel that Keith Smith's is very sturdy, and compromises too much to
the concept of "no adhesives".  Definitely use the inner binding, as Sam
mentioned.  I tried to be lazy and did a couple without it, & not only was
the final product flimsier, but it was more difficult to sew.

That's way too much rambling for now.

Alan Van Dyke
Austin, Texas


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