Coptic Sewing

A popular way to join lots of sections for its decorative nature and ease of opening. Follow the diagrams below or use the video tutorial.

(I have started the one in the video slightly differently to the one below – there is always more than one way of doing things.)

You can add a soft cover to this structure by using 2 folded sheets of say 300gsm card and just sew them into the structure as if they were the first and last section. Add extra stiffness to this cover with a layer of glue inside after you have sewn the pages. This step can cause problems with wrinkling and warping so if in doubt, miss it out. But, if you have the grain direction of the card running head to tail and you can press the book heavily until dry then you may have more success.

After sewing, press the pages and glue the spine. This will create more stability and strength.

Ideally your sections should be 1-1.5mm thick when squeezed.
Choose your sewing thread carefully as thick thread can create too much "swell" in the spine making it difficult to press the book and glue between the sections. So if your sections were just a single folded sheet and the thread was thick, it probably just wouldn't work.
A variation of the coptic sewing where the pages have been sewn through a cover (made from an old painting canvas found in the rubbish bin).
Another variation. Pages can be attached to the cover by sewing into the boards. This youtube is a good tutorial for this.
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