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Re: Stabbound Journals

At 10:48 AM 8/21/97 -0700, you wrote:

>Can anyone please suggest what would be best to use to make the sewing
>strong (yet as elegant as possible - e. g., I don't want shoe laces <g>).

One approach is to look at the inner and outer bindings in combination.  The
inner binding, which holds the book block (including what becomes the
"pastedowns") is traditionally made with a twist of strong paper.  The holes
for the inner binding are punched thru the book block--since no paper is
removed the holes close around the paper twist and the book block does not
shift.  If you want to make a very thick book or for some other reason want
to drill the holes, make as small a hole as possible.  Then use multiple
threads for the inner binding.  Embroidery thread (DMC cotton) is good, as
well as darning cotton, filament silk (twisted or flat), and linen thread.
If using multiple thinner threads each can be knotted separately (if one
breaks the other holds) and the knots either disappear into the book block
holes or aren't discernable thru the cover.

So the main strength of the binding is already accomplished and a more
elegant thread can be used on the outside binding.  This outer thread adds
to the overall strength of the book, but if it breaks (it is vulnerable to
friction wearing at least) only the covers are loose.  Multiple threads can
be used on the outside too, altho I have always sewn and knotted these
together.  Cotton or silk threads which have 6 plies lend themselves to
combining colors, or even twirling in strands of metallics or less strong
decorative elements.

Cathy Atwood
Local Records Program, Missouri Secretary of State

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