On the day after Thanksgiving, my niece and I did something a little off the beaten shopping path. We took a bookbinding class this summer at Bari Zaki Studio in Chicago and returned today to do another type of bookbinding: the coptic stitch. We started with these tools. Since most of coptic stitch binding involves sewing, Bari made our covers and put together our signatures (the reams of pages).
It was our first time using a round needle. We also used a few types of awls to make holes in the pages and cover.
Our first step was to measure the places where we’d make the holes. We started half an inch from the edges, then measured three equidistant spots in between those half-inch margins. Using a piece of paper to measure first really helped so we wouldn’t have to erase the signatures if we made mistakes (which we did!).
When we marked the signatures, we used a brick to keep the cover and signatures in place.
Then it was hole punching time. We used all three awls to make holes in both the front and back covers.
Now to start the sewing! This took about 2.5 hours.
The thread was coated in wax and very strong.
This is what the inside of each signature looks like. The signatures are four pieces of paper folded over to make eight pages.
Almost done sewing. The round needle came in really handy when we had to thread the string through each loop in this stitch.
And the finished book! I’ll probably use mine as a photo album for an upcoming trip.
Bari Zaki Studio is located at 3858 North Lincoln in Chicago and will hold its annual studio sale the weekend of December 9-10.