[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Sewing stations

  I would like to put in an historical observation on the question of
the use of sewing frames.  Materials matter, here.  Certainly we need to
bear in mind that the sewing frame is a northern European invention that
emerges as part of the change over from a book based on papyrus to one
based on vellum for the text block. I would really like to know if the
early medieval books, like the surviving St. Gall volumes, were sewn
with or without a frame, but certainly by the time you get to Romanesque
the frame is there and the tension on the cords is necessary to create a
tight vellum text block.  The mechanism of the book at that point is
clearly based on the assumption that the clasps are going to be balanced
by a spine sewn under tension.
  Now it may very well be that a modern paper text block can be sewn on
double supports without that sort of tension, but why go to all the
trouble of doing that kind of sewing if you are not going to allow
yourself the full benefit of the structure?  Besides, when I think of
the tangled mess of trying to sew a double flexible text block without a
sewing frame....Well, maybe as a form of extreme penance, but, brother,
you'd have to be really BAD-D-D to deserve it.
 Dorothy Africa

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]