Sunday, March 08, 2009

Coptic binding

Here are the two coptic bindings I've completed this week. I learned the technique from Adele Outteridge, an artist who I mentioned here. The covers are Japanese fabrics I bought ages ago on Ebay, enticed by their beauty to believe that despite my hopeless skills as a seamstress, I could make something from them. The larger book is filled with a mixture of Canson 300gsm watercolour paper and Rives BFK, a printmaking paper, and sewn with waxed Irish linen thread. The smaller book on top has pastel papers and brown linen thread.

I have to say I am completely entranced by this binding. It's so satisfying to make something so beautiful and practical, and I love the fact that you can sit and tear paper for the sections/ signatures and sew the binding even when you're not feeling 100%. I know what my friends will be getting for their birthdays...


  1. Beautiful! And you can buy Japanese fabric on Ebay, eh? Now there's a thought; I haven't tried out Ebay yet, or Coptic binding, but I have instructions they're on my list. Sara

  2. Those are beautiful. I think that the Coptic binding will always be my favorite, and the fabrics make lovely covers.

  3. They are really lovely books Amanda and I can just see you making lots more. I find them very relaxing to make and as you say, you can just sit quietly and tear & fold to your heart's content. Your friends will be very fortunate to receive your handmade books.

  4. These look fantastic!
    I once tried to teach myself to coptic bind through a tutorial but my head wasn't in it and I gave up.
    I guess that I should have a go again at some stage.

  5. Thanks to you all for your lovely comments.
    SCB: I think you can buy ANYTHING on'd better check it out!
    Jordiw: Thank-you! And thanks for visiting my blog. It's lovely when I discover someone I don't know is reading.
    Carol: Yes, I really feel like I've found "my thing"...but who knows, Adele may have more wonders to share with me.
    Azirca:I think it really helps to have someone show you these things - following written instructions is definitely a perceptual challenge!

  6. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Lovely books! I use BFK Rives a lot too. And I can't count how many coptic books I've made. You reminded me that I have a fat quarter of some nice Japanese cotton fabric stashed away too. Did you turn it into book-cloth? I've done that a few times & it is really wonderful to get something unique like that.

  7. Thanks Wendy! No I didn't turn it into book cloth, I just glued it. I have read how that's done though and I plan to do that in the future.
    Re: your cat - our cat has the same condition...I don't know whether to be pleased or not to hear yours is still going after 3 this rate we will have to re-mortgage the house to cover the vet fees!!!How often does yours have to go back for check-ups?

  8. Anonymous7:12 PM

    So you made the Japanese fabric into bookcloth yourself? Then it is cotton? I have made bookcloth from cotton and silk, but have some lovely pieces of Japanese fabric that I think are rayon, so will have to find a use for them.