Historical Bindings Project: Limp Leather Binding

The next book in the series is the Limp Leather binding. The others in this series are: a Nag Hammadi codex, a late Coptic binding, a limp vellum binding, and an alla rustic binding.

Arthur Johnson says that the tradition of limp bindings continued from vellum into leather, and in 1850 the extended edges became know as yapp edges (though didn’t include yapp edges on our limp leather bindings). This style is still quite common for pocket Bibles.

These books are made with black leather and endpapers of: lacquered Yuzen/Chiyogami, and hand-marbled paper. The bigger book is a bought Bible that used to have a paper cover. The little ones I created textblocks for using the first book of Psalms. We are starting to include text in our projects! And titles stamped in gold foil.

The Thames & Hudson Manual of Bookbinding by Arthur Johnson was the main source for this binding style.

Let’s take a look at this binding!

As mentioned before, we bought the Bible textblock and removed its cover.

We then added tipped-on endpapers, a stuck-on endband, and a ribbon!

Following this we made the case, which was constructed of light card with leather drummed around it.

And here are a few photos of the leather going on:

After the leather was dry we used the Kwikprint machine to stamp the title in gold foil.

The case was then attached to the textblock just by the endpapers. For the miniatures, we started with creating our own textblocks. I did this by putting the first book of Psalms into a template for the size we wanted. We then cut the pages and folded the paper. These textblocks were sewn with a French link stitch and also given stuckon endbands and ribbon.

Miniature cases were made in the same way the large case was.

And once everything was cased in they were done! It was a relatively simple binding and I enjoyed learning how to make it as limp leather covers are still quite popular. Below are some photos of the finished books! A reminder clicking on the photo will enlarge it.

And as always here is a photo of all the books so far together! Left to right: Nag Hammadi binding, limp vellum, late Coptic, alla rustic, and limp leather!

I’ve fallen a bit behind on blog posts. Hopefully soon I’ll get a post about the scroll and scroll tube up, followed by the field notebook. Currently we are working on wax tablets and then we’ll finally be ready to move on to some of the medieval bindings.

Until next time,

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