Pure Bookbinding: Three Structures

11-13 February 2022

A rare chance to attend a purely structural bookbinding workshop with Rachel in Edinburgh.

Create your own decorated papers to make a unique set of bindings –  two hardbacks and a long stitch.

Discover how to cut, fold, mark, sew and glue useful book forms.

Take away three handbound books and the knowledge to create many more.

Learn how to make:

i) A Hardback Binding – sew a book block using French Reinforced stitch and create hard covers to fit.

ii) A Long Stitch – An elegant structure – an exposed spine sewing. With ‘soft’ covers, not glued.

iii) A Secret Belgian Binding  – A two-part binding. The covers and spine pieces are laced together and then inner sections sewn in.

We meet on the evening of Friday 11th to get to know one another and settle into the space.

This workshop is sold out. Please check back for details of the next date.


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Saturday 12th February

Folding and Sewing

Settle into our studio for the weekend. Get acquainted with specialist tools and materials. Start gently, with folding and cutting a large sheet of paper down into pages.

Create your own patterned cover paper, with inky marks and repetition.

The process of measuring, marking, pricking holes and sewing a buttonhole binding is a satisfying start to our bookbinding trio. After a lunch of soup and buns, we’ll prepare the sections for the hard cover structures, and cut board to size.


Sunday 13th February

Gluing and Finishing

Begin with glue brush and waste paper! We’ll start by making the hard covers so that they’ll be pressed dry and flat for later. The rhythm of French Reinforced sewing will take us through to lunch.

Lacing the boards for the Secret Belgian Binding comes next, followed by sewing in the sections. Attaching the case binding to the book block and placing it under weights for a quick press is our grand finale, celebrated with tea and cake.

Wrap up your precious trio of bindings and head out into the world with new skills under your arm.

Please Note

Each day starts at 10am and finishes at about 4pm.

All materials are provided.

Soup lunch, hot drinks and biscuits are included.

There is a range of accommodation nearby. Buses and taxis can deliver you from other parts of the city. Please ask for travel and B+B advice.

Some limited editions and tools will be available to purchase on the day.

Please note: This is a technical workshop: No experience necessary, but a certain level of comfort with measuring, sewing and a snappy pace is expected.

This course can be purchased as a gift. Please let us know the recipient’s details in the ‘additional information’ box at check out.

Please read the Terms and Conditions before booking and e-mail hello@thetravellingbookbinder.com with any queries.


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