There are many different bindings that fall under the category of long-stitch, but most are distinguishable by long stitches that attach gatherings of folded pages (also called signatures) directly to the cover. This tutorial will take you through every step to stitching a simple long-stitch binding to a beautiful piece of leather.
4 sheets of 45.7cm x 61cm (18in x 24in) drawing paper or sketchbook paper
Sheet of leather 11.4cm x 28cm (8.5in x 11in)
Waxed linen thread
Book binding needle
Triangle (or set square)
Rotary cutter (optional)
X-Acto knife or paper cutter
1. Cut Your Text Block
With a paper cutter or X-Acto knife, cut the large drawing paper width-wise into three 18cm (7in) wide strips.
Cut each strip down into four 10cm (4in) sheets. You should end up with 36 short grain pieces of paper. (what is short grain?). These pieces will make up your text block.
2. Cut Out Your Cover
Cut the sheet of leather length-wise into a 10.5cm (approx 4 1/4in) wide strip. This will make your cover.
3. Make Your Signatures
A signature is a gathering of two or more folded pages. Take a sheet of paper from your text block and gently fold it in half width-wise to make a folio. You do not want to make a sharp fold yet, so don’t push down hard.
To get the most even fold, start at the middle and push out to the sides.
Fold all of the remaining sheets in your text block.
Make a signature by gathering six folios (folded sheets), one inside the other. Repeat this step until you have six signatures.
Rub your bone fold over each signature to sharpen the folds. This will help keep the spine from being too fat.
4. Cut Holes Into the Signatures
Grab a signature and use your ruler to find the center of the folded side. Make a small cut or notch with an X-Acto knife. Make the cut deep enough to go through all of the pages. Once you make a mark with the knife, it might be easier to remove the ruler to finish the cut.
Cut another two notches, measuring 1cm (approx 1/2in) away from each edge.
Use the signature you cut in Step 2 as a guide for the rest. Place it directly on top of an unmarked signature. Cut straight through the notches of your guide and into the signature underneath.