Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Secret no more - The Secret Belgian Binding

So I have seen many examples of the Secret Belgian binding online. After much searching I found some very readable instructions here. Thank you to whomever did this tutorial...good job!
  From what little info I could find, the Secret Belgian binding was re-discovered in 1986. It is composed of 2 covers and a spine that are woven together. The signatures are sewing to the inner weave.

 Here is an example of what is "should" look like.. Boy do I LOVE Dennis Yuen's work
Book Artist: Cailun/ Dennis Yuen
  Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel please follow the this link for the tutorial. After reading it as carefully as I could and following the directions as well as any male can, I do however have some observations.

  1) Do not use tape to hold your covers together while stitching... Tape and paper are never  friends. I  tried to use painters tape (which I do use a lot of in my studio). Even after sticking it to my shirt a few times to take down the adhesive a bit, it still pulled up and tore my paper.... FAIL....
  2) The instructions to not call for an odd number of sewing stations... keep your number odd. Believe me you will be happier
  3) Unlike some bindings, tension is key. Your signatures and cover need to be tight!

 I took some pics of my process. Please be kind, it was my first time.
First 3 stations sewn. Please forgive the horrible photograph (Warning: they don't get any better)
Inside cover completely sewn.  I'm a bit embarrassed of the cheap paper and the nylon thread I used

Please try this binding out. It really is quiet beautiful. I can see a lot of variations using beads or decorative threads that would be next to impossible of most bindings.


Greenby Nature said...

I think you did a great first attempt. I'm dying to have a go but I'm full on with exhibition work at the moment. I'm a book sculptor. Please feel free to visit my website.

Lizzie said...

Looks quite okay for a first try, Eric! I wonder if mine will be as neat. I am a bit puzzled by your "use an odd number of holes" instruction, as I noticed your example photo has 10 holes...but I will note what you say and doubtless all will become clear when I try it for myself!
Thanks for posting this - it's very helpful to see some photos of "work in progress".

tortagialla said...

Looks great! It does look tricky problem when binding is always tension!

trish said...

I did this type of book for the first time several years ago in a class. It took 5 hours and we still werent finished. Thanks for the clear post. Now I feel I can try it again. It is a beautiful binding.

Laurie said...

Gorgeous - I'll try it. I love your blog. Thanks!

Pauline Paulette said...

I love this binding too, and yours looks definitely good!

PrairiePeasant said...

I have yet to try this binding. Your post is an encouragement to me. Thanks!

zoranoske said...

Would like to try this kind of binding. In your post look great.Thanks for showing it. : )

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