Saturday 20 November 2010

Proper Japanese Bookbinding

Today I attended a one-day class on Japanese bookbinding run by the Society of Bookbinders. The class was given by Kathy Abbott and was proper - including the making of paper string to hold the text block together. The text block was made of Shoji which is 43gsm Japanese paper. There was no stiffening cover but decorative paper was glued to the text block and the edges folded in, then sewn. Two patterns of sewing are shown, a plain four hole pattern and Kang-xi which is a more ornamental four hole pattern. I have all the materials to make a hemp pattern and a tortoise pattern in the cover paper so I will have a matching set of four books which I will then wrap in a stiffened cover which does have boards in it.

The class took place in the ARK, which is the church hall at Alvechurch. It won the prize for Ecclesiastical architecture in 2007 and is rather splendid. (Photo taken from their website) Light wood everywhere inside. There was a children's dancing class on downstairs in the hall with high windows. We were upstairs and the window to the right illuminated that room along with windows giving out to the other side of the Ark. The church is to the right of the photo and there is an entrance from the Ark straight into the church.

Tomorrow I must try to tidy up!! There are piles of stuff from different projects and I must either finish the project or put the stuff away. At the moment, the house resembles an archeological dig.


  1. An archeological dig :)

    As a bookbinder I can really appreciate the Japanese papers you chose for this project. Japanese binding styles are very simple compared to the European tradition, but it is their very simplicity and beauty that captivates.

    Nice job, well done.


  2. They look wonderful. please remember to bring them on Sunday.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.