There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding the best technique to bind your books. The most common method is perfect bound, often overlooked, this process works better for those with a higher page count such as magazines, brochures etc. Let’s have a look at the other techniques of bookbinding…

A bit of binding history…

The history of bookbinding can begin with monks as early as the sixth century, who would protect their hand-transcribed manuscripts with wooden boards encrusted with metal and jewels. However, modern-era bookbinding came about with the introduction of the printing press. Since then, the art of bookbinding was also used to refer to the design of book covers. For the next 200 years, innovation and exemplary bookbinding were set by the royal courts of France, followed by Germany, England, and Venice. The industry was forced to adjust its commercial approach in the mid-nineteenth century due to competition from cheaper materials such as cloth and from new binding technologies such as glueing sheets together rather than sewing.

Perfect Binding – This technique is commonly used for commercial books and magazine bindings and is one of the easiest and fastest methods of binding books. Perfect binding uses adhesive to hold individual pages (or folded sections) together. The adhesive is placed on the book spine, producing a flat surface. Commercially, hot melt adhesives are used to bind the spine. These adhesives provide a stronger ‘bind’ compared to the regular PVC glue.

Saddle Stitching – This method is for booklets with fewer pages. Individual folded sections are dropped onto a conveyor belt at the spine and saddled until the book is in its entirely. A wire is then stitched into the spine in two places.

PUR Binding – During this binding process, a thin layer of adhesive is spread across the spine, with a paper cover folded over the top to create a finished product. Commonly used for binding thicker books, magazines and brochures, PUR binding is an effective way of ensuring a strong, durable finish. At first glance, it would be difficult to tell the difference between a perfect bind and a PUR bind. The binding process is essentially the same in both; it is the glue that differs. Perfect binding uses ethylene vinyl acetate adhesives, as opposed to the polyurethane reactive (PUR) adhesives used in PUR binding.