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Sewing recommendation requests

I have recently acquired a 1000+ page, 31 signature book that (unbound) already weighs 8
pounds. I want to bind it in the Coptic style with two boards of quilted maple -- very
dense & heavy wood (not to mention sinfully beautiful). That should add a couple of
pounds, plus any decoration I might decide to add to the boards and/or spine.

So here's the part about the recommendations request:

   1. Since the book weighs *so* much, the number of signatures,
      and this unsupported sewing, what kind of thread ought I
      consider using that would be both strong enough to hold
      the book together securely and fine enough not to swell
      the spine too far out of whack?

I will plane down the inside of the boards at the spine & that will accommodate some
swelling, but want to make sure I don't end up with a spine that's an inch thicker than it
already is. Oh . . . also planning on it having headbands a la "Headbands & How to Work
Them", adding wrapping bands to the book, and sewing a leather wallet for it, so those
should help secure/stabilize it some -- but mostly while closed. Last thing I want to do
is spend all this time on sewing and then have the boards fall off & the book come apart!

   2. Are there any sources for ideas for decorative
     (i.e., patterned) sewings for Coptic beside just the
     plain Jane straight rows across the spine?

Looking forward to your replies. --Dave.

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