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Re: [BKARTS] How to sew pages without gaps



A sewing frame isn't absolutely necessary in sewing with or without tapes as
long as you keep the head and tail perfectly perpendicular. Sit at the tail
end (if you are right-handed) with the open signature under a weight to hold
it in place and, with your left arm holding the signature open, insert the
needle from the outside into the hole for the kettle stitch at the head.
Catch the needle with your LEFT hand and pull it through only enough to turn
the needle around and exit through the next hole. Then, with your right
hand, pull the thread through tightly (pulling in the direction you are
sewing) leaving about 3 inches on the outside. Continue sewing over the
tapes, if you are using them, until you reach the tail, always catching and
turning the needle with your left hand and pulling through until the stitch
is tight with the right. Some binders wait until reaching the kettle stitch
before tightening all the stitches in the signature at once. Then check to
see that everything is smooth before completing the kettle stitch. Then,
remove the weight, place the next signature, open to the center,  on top,
replace the weight. Make the kettle stitch and proceed to sew to the head.
Pull the thread tight and tie it to the end of the thread at the beginning
of the first signature.

Place the next signature on, keeping the head of the book and the spine
perpendicular and proceed with the sewing, always catching the needle and
inserting it into the next hole with the left hand and pulling with the
right in the direction of sewing. About the third or fourth row, connect the
signatures at the tapes by taking the needle under the threads of the
previous rows from the top, pulling it through until a loop is left, then
over the loop and tightening it. If you do this every third or fourth row
across the spine, your sewing will be tight, no gaps. It's common for a gap
to appear between the first and second signatures. Common practice is to put
a narrow strip of paste at the spine edge there; I prefer to use an inner
hinge at that place, front and back so the book opens to the spine
everywhere.

If your book has just a few signatures, you might want to catch each row
together.

Once you master sewing according to these instructions, it will go much
faster. I learned the method from Laurence Town's Bookbinding by Hand.

Good luck,

Betty


----- Original Message -----
From: "June-Etta Chenard" <cf-editor@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 6:04 AM
Subject: [BKARTS] How to sew pages without gaps


> Hello,
> I want to first say how much I appreciate this list, and how much I
> have been learning. I had always used a cornstarch and PVA glue mix
> for glueing covers, and on Saturday, I bought some wheat starch at
> the local Oriental grocery store, which I will try out today. For
> Christmas, my daughter in Germany brought me a lot of Elephant paper
> in many colours and a couple of thicknesses. If anyone wants the
> address of the art store in Stuttgart where she got it, I can get it
> from her. She said they had many more choices than she could bring.
>
> Now, I have a request for help. Whenever I sew signatures together, I
> have gaps between the signatures when I later open the book. I have
> tried making the books smaller as well as larger, as well as with and
> without tapes. Alas, I do not have a sewing frame. If anyone has
> helpful hints, I would be very grateful.
>
> Thank you.
> June-Etta Chenard
>
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             ***********************************************
        See the Book_Arts-L FAQ at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>

     *Postings may not be re-printed in any form without the express
     consent of the author - Please respect their contributions & ©*

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine
                    <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu>
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