Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Experimenting with Hilke’s Headbands

I’ve been continuing to test different bindings for my friend’s wedding album. I’m looking for something which will allow me to use an open spine with exposed stitching, but still provide enough support to the album which will be quite heavy.

I think I will need to use some cords, but while I wait for Keith Smith’s third volume with the instructions to arrive in the post, I thought I would try some headbands. I popped over to Buechertiger’s site, thinking I would need to buy her self published book on coptic headbands, but I found that on her blog there is a detailed post with step-by-step photos explaining how to  make a “Simple Two Coloured Coptic Headband”. Thank-you for your generosity Hilke! This is much appreciated as I haven’t really been sure how much I like the look of headbands.

As you can see, they turned out quite nicely, and I think I can say I do like them now! And if you look closely you will see that they are in fact two colours, but they are very similar shades, as I thought the pattern on the fabric was complex enough.

Watson-Will: celtic and coptic binding with headbands


I also tried out a couple of other new things with this book. I made my very first book fabric, backing it with tissue using wheat starch paste. Inspired by Paper Chipmunk’s recent successes, I took my method from this video on youtube, but don’t be misled by the ease and expertise you see here! What a kerfuffle! Talk about “paper wrestling”!*

I was amazed when later that evening I ended up with a beautifully stiffened sheet of fabric which covered the boards really nicely. I can definitely see the difference (previously I used an acid free glue stick to attach the fabric directly onto the book board).

I also used a different paper for the book. I was thinking of a book for writing, rather than drawing or painting, and so I chose Mohawk Superfine Text. It is beautiful paper, but not as strong as the cartridge, watercolour paper or BFK I’ve used in the past. As a result I tore one of the signatures, and marked some of the others at the top when working the headbands. I think I might leave this paper until I am more proficient with these particular bindings. A good lesson learnt.


* See Claire Beynon’s poem “Paper Wrestling”


  1. I really like how you try new techniques. I should too, but I'm too lazy or set in my ways, I can't decide which!
    The binding and book cover looks fantastic.

  2. oooo pretty! I haven't seen this sort of treatment before.

    I really like your choice of book cloth (I've *wrestled* with backing my own bookcloth previously so I appreciate just what you would be going through - WWF here we come!)

    and hows this for serendipitous.... just before I notice your post mentioning hilke from buechertiger i was posting a message at her buechertiger fb page! and guess what it was about? - she had posted a link for artspace mackay flickr group and I was whinging that the artists weren't acknowledged in the pics and how a couple were me mates from BAO .... so I was sharing the BAO link! what a whoot!!!!!

    the (online) world works in mysterious ways.....

  3. Beautiful book! The weave looks good; seeing it makes me want to try it again, too. And I am happy to see that you found my description of this Coptic headband helpful! :-)

  4. Looks good, Amanda, and I admire your persistence with new methods. I have Hilke's headband book and I use that headband with my coptics now to give more support. Making your own book cloth is also adventurous but well worth the effort and the wrestling.

  5. The book is lovely! I'd say Hilke's instructions worked very well. I'm so happy you felt encouraged to try the book cloth! As I think I said in that post, I didn't photograph my failed attempts of dropped fabric and paste piled on the floor...ech... Yes, that video makes it look so simple. I don't think I could do it his way, putting paste on the fabric. Yours, however, came out wonderfully. I like the choice of fabric and thread colors, too. Really nice!