Edge decoration is a tradition that dates back to the beginning of the history of bound books; the first examples of this technique were recognizable on some Coptic binding in IV Century. The first colors used were red, yellow and gold, but the bigger the book was the easier it was to bind the book with title, paintings and decorations on edges. From 1675 in Netherlands was common to find marbled edges, while England was developing the techniques of brushed edges, engraved or with painting hidden under the golden leaf. In past, techniques and materials are still the same (except for some years at the beginning of 20° Century, when in France was developed a special adhesive golden film, which was much easier to use).
Edge decoration is a luxury element which elevates the value and the identity of books; the book must be worked for hours with sand papers, to make the surface completely flat and shiny – to achieve an Ivory Edge, which is the start for the other kind of decorations. The technique of decoration is also an important part of the structure of the binding: they are chosen based on the nature of the book, the contents and the importance. Some of the most classic ways to work and edge are the Ivory or Natural Edge, the Colour Edge, the Graphite Edge and the Gold Edge.
Dos – a – Dos Binding:
The dos-a-dos binding is a playful technique for binding together books that are parts of a collection or that are connected in one way or another, giving them interesting designs. Usually there are three main typology for this technique, with one side connected – same direction, with one side connected – upside down direction and the one with a shared double spine. This third variation allows the book a better stability and keep the front egdes of both books well protected.
The Coptic Binding is an historical binding, one of the most ancient ones, developed around IV Century, and also one of the most adapted in the history of binding. The historical way requires a doubled leather cover, with headbands hand bound in the special way.
The modern Coptic Binding, which is simplified and open to experiments with different cover materials, allows lots of personalization and testing. One of its most interesting attributes is the possibility of binding a book that open easily till 180°; plus, it’s a very strong and resistant binding.
Paper Bindings exists in many different form, and they could be simple or really elaborate. This particular technique is based on the possibility of bound the whole book – counterguards, cover outside/inside – using a single stripe of paper. We use also thin strips of goatskin leather to protect the more sensible parts, inches, sides or corners, to add a decorative detail that is also really functional for a solid structure of the book.
This paper binding is built around a miniature book, made with rice paper 40 gr. The marbled paper is handmade by me, and the superior sides are covered with Oasis goatskin leather, pared with knife; also the headbands are made with leather. To protect the miniature book, I made also a simple paper slipcase with a decorative element made with the same marbled paper from the cover.
Flexible Leather Binding:
The Flexible Leather Binding is a very clean and nice technique for bound books with a value that are read quiet often; usually it doesn’t have big decorative elements, just the title, and that’s one of its peculiarities. The book is bound for giving a nice feeling in the hands and for opening without resistance in different way.
This Flexible Leather Binding is made around a 90 gr Ivory Ingres paper, with Oasis Goatskin Leather pared with Brockman Machine and knife, with leather headbands, and title impressed with Prägnant Machine.
Quarther Leather Binding
The Quarther Leather Binding is one of the most luxurious way of binding books; as the Full Leather binding, or French Binding, this technique is developed for making the book a fine work of art, that makes the physical form of the book as important as the contents. Usually, this binding is used for very precious book.
The book is bound with decorative or marbled papers, with a spine covered with Oasis goatskin leather, leather headbands and also inner joints covered in leather. The sewing is made on linen threads, and the cardboard of the cover is sanded for a nice feeling in the hands, that gives the cover a light domed shape.
A Clamshell Book Box protects books, prints, photos or ephemera from dust, light and abrasion.
Each box is unique and built with the exact size of the book that will be put inside. The classical forms are book box covered in cloth or paper, but there are also full leather or only leather spine boxes; inside the box could be lined with either paper, felt, molleton fabric or suede.
This Clamshell Box is made as a protection for the Quarther Leather Binding, and is built using cloth and a nice spine of Oasis goatskin leather, with some blue suede inside.
The Bradel Binding was born in the Germany of 18° century, and has some similarities with the millimetric binding. Originally made as a temporary binding, the technique grew in different variations and today has an own shape and dignity. Is a hollow back binding with a visible joint, or French groove.
Those Bradel Bindings are made half paper half Oasis goatskin Leather, and the inside corners are covered with a thin layer of leather, invisible on the outside, for giving an extra strength to those delicate parts.