Monday, 15 October 2012

Longstitch binding

It was with some trepidation that I recently had a go at long stitch binding, my previous attempts some years ago having been far from satisfactory.  I must credit the fabulous 'Mini Book Necklaces and Keychains Tutorial' on the 'Art by Wendy' blog and 'Altered Alchemy' for providing the inspiration for my creations.  Their beautiful work encouraged me to have a go, and having some small leather samples to use up, I had another attempt. 

As you probably know, long stitch binding differs from traditional bookbinding in that the stitching is sewn directly through the covering material, leaving the (hopefully) beautifully neat stitches exposed on the spine.  Popular in the middle ages, the method has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years, and I'm starting to appreciate why.  It's a reasonably simple binding, requiring very few tools, and you can see the results fairly quickly.  It's also surprisingly versatile, with many variations of the style available.

Miniature leather longstitch binding
My own version uses the long stitch and chain stitch combination, but there are many different styles, often much more complex and detailed.  There are also many different closure mechanisms, ranging from leather cord to buttons.  My own version, I have to confess, was taken from the 'Art by Wendy' tutorial (sorry Wendy!), but I loved it so much, and it was perfect for a long stitch binding of this size (ie. miniature).  Attached to the covers were some beautiful filigree style embellishments from The Funky Aardvark in Chester.

The popularity of the long stitch binding is evident in the number of Etsy sellers producing remarkable work in this style.  There were too many to mention here, so I've whittled my selection down to the following beautiful examples:

This leather journal sketchbook by absolutelyevo demonstrates how beautiful the stitching can look.  The closure mechanism is a leather wrap closure.  Stunning work.

I love the stitching on this LongLink Bound Leather Notebook by ipiccolilibri which features a brown leather long as a closure mechanism.

 I love the clasp closing mechanism on this Embossed Leather Journal by Coco's Creations.  Beautiful leather and stitching too.

If anyone fancies having a go at long stitch binding, I found these online tutorials very helpful:

Sew Technicolor: Handbound (Faux Leather) Journal Tutorial

YouTube: Medieval limp binding

YouTube: Simple Bookbinding

Until next time, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!

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