December 21, 2012

Japanese Sketchbook Binding

I've been trying for ages to find time to make some watercolour sketchbooks. I did a trial run with regular cartridge paper yonks ago and that worked out brilliantly so, with a whole day to myself last weekend, I cut enough paper for 3 new books.

I have been collecting scraps of fabric - these are made from a shirt from Oxfam, some felt from my workshops bag and a top I don't wear: 

The joy of the Japanese binding system is that there is no paper folding and the sewing part is much simpler and quicker. I learned how to do in on YouTube of course. There are several videos, but this and this proved the most informative and easy to follow.

I thought the plain books were a little understated for me, so I ferreted around and found some funky paper for the endpapers. The swirly one is just regular gift-wrap which, to be honest, was a bit thin so I won't do that again, but the stripy stuff is cut from a wine gift-bag, nice and thick - ideal.

I let the glue dry overnight (under several heavy books) and then got very excited when it was finally time to drill the holes and do the actual sewing.

The disadvantage to Japanese binding, for a sketchbook, is that you can't really do drawings which span the gutter, because the book doesn't open as flat as a conventional binding. That's why I have made them landscape format - for me it makes it easier to resist the need to sketch across the gutter.


Pie Lady Pat said...

Very nice! I recently did simple Japanese stab binding and am inspired.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

They're very beautiful, Lynne! I always wondered how that style would work since they don't open as flat.

Marina Grechanik said...

cool, thank you for sharing! I want to prepare one!