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medieval bindings?


this is my first post to the list, please excuse any faux pas.

i've been reading with great interest the comments people have
regarding the various methods of leather paring (i'm still struggling
to get my knife sharp enough to use -- ah the joys of beginning a new
craft!). i especially appreciated richard's method -- no paring!
other than the troubles i've been having accomplishing that feat, i
have wondered about the weakened leather's capability to withstand
use. i've seen some english-style bindings (pared not just at the
turn ins/edges but also at the hinges) which don't seem to be doing
too well 100 years later. (i'll be saving richard's message as a

i am primarily interested in documentable medieval 11th C. to 14th C.
western european binding techniques. i would so very much appreciate
any help, whatsoever! (i'm also trying to track down the merchant who
posted very recently about his metal book clasps and corners...)

on to my questions:

i understand (i think) the method of sewing onto linen cords (or
leather thongs). but i've been struggling with lacing said cords or
thongs onto the wooden boards. where do the ends go? is there a nick
or groove cut at the edge for the cord to sit in?

sorry if this is redundant or hard to understand. i cruised through
all the archives and couldn't really find the answers to my specific

looking forward to more wonderful information,

Whitney Dickinson <whitney@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
WebMaster, NW EnerNet
Energy NewsData

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