Books

Library Style Binding

The Library Style binding was designed to be hard wearing and suitable for constant use in a library funnily enough. Its a solid and uncompromising style of book that traditionally uses buckram, a waterproof and hardwearing type of book cloth. It's major feature is that it's cover boards are attached to the book via a flange that is inserted between each cover board to create a very strong attachment at the joint. 

The flange on the text block, made from the waste paper of the endpapers and the tapes that go across the spine.

The flange on the text block, made from the waste paper of the endpapers and the tapes that go across the spine.

For my Library binding I decided that I wanted to make a sketchbook that would be suitable for recording ideas, notes and projects that I was working on in the studio. I wanted a no thrills binding and something that was fairly utilitarian, so I went with black buckram and decided to add a flash of colour (anyone who knows me well, knows that I like the odd bright colour now and then)

Cover boards attached to the text block.

Cover boards attached to the text block.

Endband sewn on a leather core

Endband sewn on a leather core

I have recently started to sew traditional hand sewn end bands on some of my bindings, they not only look attractive, but unlike modern stuck on end bands add strength to the binding. Through the secondary sewing that attaches them to the head and tail of a book.

For this binding I also decided to add some page makers as I often want to be able to jump between sections of my notebooks and journals

For this binding I also decided to add some page makers as I often want to be able to jump between sections of my notebooks and journals

The completed binding with elasticated strap and buckram covering.

The completed binding with elasticated strap and buckram covering.

Notebook, Camelwinter, Camel winter, Handbound, A6, Books

Sewn Boards Binding

The sewn boards binding was originally created by Gary Frost as a conservation binding, it works in a very similar way to a medieval binding in that the text block is sewn on to the cover boards as part of the binding process. They will also open entirely flat which makes them great as sketchbooks or photo books, their construction also opens up a range of possibilities in their aesthetic, as you fill out the boards in layers to make them the thickness you would like for the final binding. 

Text Block sewn with cover boards attached at each end of the book.

Text Block sewn with cover boards attached at each end of the book.

Edge detail of a sewn boards binding showing the red fill of the cover boards.

Edge detail of a sewn boards binding showing the red fill of the cover boards.

Two Completed sewn boards bindings.

Two Completed sewn boards bindings.

The sewn boards binding is incredibly versatile style of book and one that I have been using a lot in recent client work.

Handbound

Bradel Bindings

Bradel Bindings originated in Germany and are another example of a case binding much like flat back notebooks I discussed before. The major difference between flat backs and bradel bindings is that the spines are rounded and backed which creates a stronger spine and reduces the likely hood of the book drooping under the effects of gravity. In essence the sections support one another like pillars once they are formed into a round. 

A completed Bradel Binding. Quarter bound with leather and archivally printed photographs taken during a trip to Rome

A completed Bradel Binding. Quarter bound with leather and archivally printed photographs taken during a trip to Rome

Much of the process of making a bradel binding is very similar to binding a flat back notebook, sections are folded and pressed. Marked up and sewn before the end papers are attached. From here the process is a bit different, firstly the spine is given a light coating of PVA before the spine is worked in to a round with a backing hammer, it could be left at that but a lot of modern bindings take it a step further by doing a process known as backing. Backing a text block involves putting the text block between special boards in a press and using a hammer to evenly work the spine over to form a distinct lip for the cover boards to sit against.

Once the book is rounded and backed the spine can have endbands (headbands) attached, in this case they are a core of leather with thinned leather or bookcloth wrapped around it and attached at the head and tail of the book. Then its on to the lining of the spine, once again it has a light layer of PVA applied and left to dry. Secondly it has a layer of mull applied and finally a strip of kraft paper made into a tube is cut and applied to fit between the shoulders of the book. The Kraft paper hollow will help push the spine piece away from the text block when the book is opened.

A text block spine rounded and backed

A text block spine rounded and backed

After the textblock is complete the cover can be constructed, as a bradel binding is a case binding the cover can be made separately and created to fit perfectly the textblock it will be protecting. A "bonnet" is a shaped spine piece that connects the two cover boards and will be attached to the hollow on the spine of the book. It is a piece of thin card held between kraft paper and shaped to fit the spine of the textblock exactly. Once the cover boards are attached to the bonnet the cover is ready for covering. I have used Goat leather for the spines of these books, it needs to be thinned very carefully so that the turn in's of leather aren't visible on the spine of the book when it is attached. Its at this point that the cover images can also be applied, and then finally the cover and textblock can be put together completing the binding.

Flat back, Camelwinter, Flat back notebook, Camel winter

Flat Back Notebooks

Flat back notebooks are a practical and hard wearing staple at Camel Winter. Each book is hand bound using traditional methods and high quality materials to ensure that your book lasts whilst being a unique and individual object. 

A Flat Back notebook is a book with a flat spine, they won't be as hard wearing as a rounded and backed book but for everyday note taking or sketching they are the perfect comtemporary solution. 

A finished Camel Winter Notebook

A finished Camel Winter Notebook

The process of making each flat back notebook begins with the folding of the sheets of paper that will form the pages of the book. A set of folded pages is known as a section, or signature. Once the sections are folded they are pressed for a day to compress the sections in the textblock ready for marking up and sewing.  

Once the sections are pressed they can be knocked up and marked ready for sewing. The textblock (a collection of sections) is placed between working boards which have a series of sewing stations marked on them and placed in a finishing press ready to be sewn. 

A textblock marked up ready for sewing

A textblock marked up ready for sewing

After marking up the textblock is removed from the press and a length of linen thread is waxed ready for sewing the textblock. This particular style of book is sewn without tapes or cords and uses an unsupported link stitch which forms an attractive crisscross pattern up the spine of the book whilst providing good support to the spine and book once it is fully bound. 

A set of textblocks sewn and ready for endpapers and linings.   

A set of textblocks sewn and ready for endpapers and linings.   

Text block sewn up, the book is then ready for the endpapers to be tipped on and a series of linings applied to hold the book together and support the book when it's finished, and ready to be used by its new owner. The first lining is a thin layer of bookbinders PVA which is worked in between the sections, the second lining is a strip of mull fabric and the third and final lining is a piece of Kraft paper which is cut to fit each book individually. At this point the textblock is complete and ready for "casing in", the act of making and covering a cover ready to be attached to the textblock and complete the binding. Books can also be made "in boards" where the covers are attached to the textblock as part of the construction and is generally thought to be a stronger bond and a harder wearing book. 

Custom Camel Winter Endpapers with integral Ex Libris

Custom Camel Winter Endpapers with integral Ex Libris

The cover is made from 3 pieces of Greyboard individually cut to the specific size and fit of each book. The covers in this case are 1/2 bound with bookcloth, but could be 1/4, 3/4 or fully bound in cloth, each also features individually handmarbled Camel Winter cover papers with a design printed on each cover. the cover is attached to the textblock by the endpapers which are pasted out and applied to the inside boards of the cover. The book is then finished and ready to be used.

4 Camel Winter Flat Back Notebooks finished and ready for their new homes.  

4 Camel Winter Flat Back Notebooks finished and ready for their new homes.  

Camelwinter, Camel winter, Books, Handbound, Welcome, Photography

Camel Winter Blog

Welcome to the first post on the Camel Winter blog. This will hopefully be the first of many talking about work, ideas and happenings at Camel Winter.

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Camel Winter (an anagram of Tim Lawrence) was brought to life in 2013 when photographer and lecturer Tim Lawrence decided to have a go at book binding. At the time there was no intention of it going any further, but the binding bug soon took hold and during the festive period of 2013 Camel Winter began in ernest. 

A German Bradel Binding, and a one off commission piece for a client.  

A German Bradel Binding, and a one off commission piece for a client.  

Since then the Camel Winter has developed in to a small book binding and photography brand exploring binding techniques, edition bindings, commission pieces, repairs and ways of expressing ideas both bound and through the lens of a camera. 

A selection of bindings in the Camel Winter range. 

A selection of bindings in the Camel Winter range. 

In the next few posts will be discussing some of the processes involved in the binding of many of the books in the Camel Winter range.