Book-binding: makes me miss suturing

7:11 AM

Last Sunday I acquired another skillset I'm never gonna need (see also: rubbercutting, calligraphy), but so much fun to do! Frances and I joined CraftMNL's Love Bound book binding workshop at Fully Booked, where we learned three types of bookbinding: perfect binding, coptic stitch, and Japanese stab binding.

Perfect binding is used in paperback books and notebooks like Muji's. It requires no sewing. You just glue loose sheets together then tape them to a cover.

Japanese stab binding wraps around the spine and the top and bottom edges. We did the simplest, traditional square pattern but there are a myriad of designs possible with this technique.

Coptic stitch is my favorite. It's the most labor-intensive and the prettiest. Books bound in this fashion can lay flat on a surface, making them great scrapbooks and sketchpads.

The Workshop

The wonderful Ms. Nikki was our facilitator.

The workshop was well-planned. Our group of seven participants was perfect for the craft's level of difficulty as well as the size of the venue -- The Forum at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street. We were allowed to go at our own pace and completed the three projects in the allotted four hours. It was great fun punching holes into paper with improvised awls. Of course, everyone started squeeing when Nikki brought out her lovely lovely paper which we used to decorate our books.

Weapons of construction.

Taken from the CraftMNL instagram.

Working with the circular mattress needle brought back memories of suturing stab wounds and excising cysts. Inwardly I wished for a needle holder and forceps. Stitching through several pieces of paper takes muscle strength!

We were also given these fantastic tote bags screenprinted by the folks at CraftMNL! They have a couple of workshops scheduled in the following weeks, and I hope I can join one.

After the workshop we met up with Chrissete and had dinner at Racks. I haven't been in a Racks in YEARS. We also had dessert at Slice. Frances has a lovely account of the workshop and the aftermath here.


Recalling an intricate coptic stitch pattern I saw months ago, my Google-fu led to me to these wonderfully constructed hand-stitched books. Not all of them came with tutorials, but I think I can deduce how each one was made.

And of course my favorite:

So much inspiration, so little time! I have the third test of the USMLE next month, so I have to hunker down yet again. But I don't think I can hold off on binding more books!
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