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Posts Tagged ‘single section bradel binding’

  1. Client Work // Single Section Half Leather Binding

    August 6, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    STORY ABOUT THE TEXT: An article titled The Roxbury Defenders Committee: Reflections on the Early Years by the Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland was recently published in Volume 95, No. 1 of the Massachusetts Law Review. The article speaks about the establishment of the Roxbury Defenders, a committee founded in 1971 to provide legal referrals to those who suffered financially in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The committee was founded by Ireland and his colleague and friend, Professor Wallace W. Sherwood. 

    ABOUT THE BINDING: For my client, I bound two copies of the Massachusetts Law Review journal, one for the Chief Justice and one for Professor Sherwood. The journals came to me straight from the press and bound together with staples. The staples were removed and bound as a single section bradel binding. This structure has been described in a previous Client Work post you can check out here and here.


    Since the journal is printed in black ink only, I chose materials that reflected the gorgeous and vibrant image on the cover. The journals are bound a half leather binding, where the same covering material for the spine is used to cover the corners. I chose to bind the journals in a blue-gray buffalo skin against a taupe Iris bookcloth. For the endpapers I chose a beautiful handmade Cockerell marbled paper from Cambridge, England, in addition to a folio of marbled grey Bugra and off-white Hahnmühle Ingres.


    Setting up my bench in preparation for covering the corners with blue-gray buffalo skin.

    To finish off the bindings, the title and volume of the journal were hand tooled along the spine with Centaur handle letters. The title was gilt with gold leaf.  

    masslawreviewspine-erinfletcher masslawreviewopen-erinfletcher

  2. Client Work: Single Section Full Leather Binding // Part One

    July 30, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    STORY OF THE TEXT: For his 50th birthday, my client, commissioned two pieces of music to be played during his celebration in Kenya. Each piece is inspired by two distinct features of Kenya, the Talek river and the nyatitis, an eight-stringed lyre instrument. As a commemoration of this event, he approached me to bind the sheet music into a full leather binding.

    ABOUT THE BINDING: The sheet music came to me as 17 individual loose sheets. At the same time, the most recent The New Bookbinder (Volume 32) from the Designer Bookbinders appeared at our bindery. The journal contains an excellent and detailed article by Ingela Dierick titled Single Section Bradel Binding.

    Using this article as a guide, I decided to guard the scores as a single signature. A single sheet of light green/gray Hahnemühle ingres was used to divide the two compositions. A single folio of the same ingres and a folio of pool blue handmade paper from Katie MacGregor was wrapped around the single signature to act as endpapers. 


    Once the signature was ready, I prepared a stub out of the same pool blue handmade paper to the thickness of the signature. The signature was pamphlet sewn to the stub, the layers of the stub were glued together using PVA and then put under weight until the next day. After trimming the text block and stub to size, I was ready to attach my final endpaper. A single sheet of waste paper was tipped onto the stub at the height of my shoulder. The waste sheet is then folded back and the endpaper is tipped onto the same position. The waste paper is then wrapped back around the fold of the endpaper. This creates a zig-zag and leaves a pocket for the false shoulder. This final endpaper will also act as the paste down and is a handmade paste paper designed by Deena Schnitman


    A false shoulder made from cord of appropriate thickness is tipped into the pocket between the waste paper that is tipped to the stub and where it wraps around the endpaper. The book is then placed into a press or job backer and the stub is rounded to create the shape of the spine and the shoulder. This is done with a bone folder and some force. From here I added the leather wrapped headbands and six layers of spine linings, which extend beyond the head and tail. Once the spine is dry, it is then sanded down smooth.  


    At this point, I attached a bonnet to the spine. The bonnet included a spine stiffener and was then slit to allow for the leather turn-in at the headcaps. Boards were laminated from 1.5 mm millboard and 20 pt. and attached to the waste sheet. The waste sheet was then torn off and smoothed down. Lastly, the boards were sanded to have a subtle chamfered shape. 


  • My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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