Wednesday, 6 September 2017

New notebooks - pouch binding - Part 1

As soon as I received a bag of my Mum's old handbags, I had the idea that I would convert them into notebooks or sketchbooks. The handles on the bags are an interesting, decorative detail but I haven't decided yet whether they will be used in the final books.

 Earlier this year I took a free MOOC course offered by Keio University in Japan, through Future Learn. The course was called Japanese Culture Through Rare Books, and one of the styles of book-binding discussed was "pouch binding", which made great use of paper (rare in ancient Japan) that was already used on one side. Having a great supply of paper to recycle I decided that I would try pouch binding for my handbag books. On a historical note, pouch bound books give historians great insights into a period when a book is un-bound for conservation purposes: the original information on the paper is intact!

To reiterate: the used paper should be completely blank on one side. This is what will be visible in the final books.

 After cutting the A4 pages in half my trusty bone folder was used to fold the now A5 pages in half, the used side in, such that blank pages are what is visible.

I stacked my folios in piles of 10 for ease of keeping track of the count. In pouch binding it is the folded part of the book that is the turning part of the page, while the "open" long side of the pouch page is bound as the book spine.

Before continuing with the binding of pages, I had to cut up the bags. I want these to be hard cover books so I also cut some corrugated cardboard to a size slightly larger than the folios.