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Types of Binding for Books

Updated: Feb 23

As you might already know, bookbinding is the process of assembling and securing the pages of a book together. For us, working in the printing industry, this is a significant aspect of the printing process as it adds both functional and aesthetic value to the finished product. That is why we will explore different types of binding for books and see their characteristics and applications.


Let’s dive in!


Types of Binding for Books
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Stepan Bormotov

Types of Binding for Books


Before delving into the specific types of binding, it is important to understand the components that make up a book. A book consists of a cover that protects the pages and provides structural strength and pages that contain the book’s content. After your book undergoes printing with a commercial-grade printer, the binding technique is used for securing the pages within the cover.


Now, let’s see how many types of binding are there.


Saddle stitch binding


This is the best type of binding for books with a small number of pages or books you need for short-term use since saddle stitching is not very durable. This is the simplest way of securing the pages, and it involves folding the pages in half and stapling them together along the fold line.


Saddle stitching is a fast and cost-effective technique, making it a popular choice for mass production.


PUR and perfect binding


If you wonder, what is the most common type of binding used for paper books, the answer is perfect binding. 


Perfect binding is characterized by heavy-weight cardstock paper that is laminated or coated to protect the book. Perfect binding is a cost-effective alternative to hardcover binding.


PUR binding is similar to perfect binding. While both use a paperboard or heavy cover stock to join pages to the spine with glue, PUR is a process that uses a special kind of adhesive known as polyurethane reactive. We recommend PUR binding for a premium project or annual report as PUR is strong enough to hold more books.


Spiral binding


Spiral binding is a versatile and popular technique of binding, also known as comb, coil, or wire binding. It involves inserting a plastic (comb binding), metal coil (coil binding), or wire (wire binding) through a series of holes punched along the edge of the pages. This allows the book to open fully and lie flat when opened. 


This type of binding is commonly used for notebooks, journals, and calendars, as it provides flexibility and durability. This means that this binding technique is not used for publishing books.


Spiral binding
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Fotos593

Section-sewn and Coptic stitch binding


Section-sewn binding is characterized by pages that are sewn in sections along the spine and glued together. Therefore, we recommend it for small and large documents. 

Similarly to section-sewn binding, a Coptic stitch allows you to lay your documents flat. That is why this technique is known as a flexible binding that doesn’t sacrifice strength. 


Hardcover or case binding


There is nothing like a great book with covers made with high standards of quality. Case binding involves attaching the pages to a cover made of rigid boards, like leather or fabric. The pages are glued or sewn to the spine of the cover, creating a sturdy and elegant finish.


Case binding is ideal for books that require a higher level of durability and a more luxurious presentation. No wonder these books look amazing on the bookshelf or the coffee table. 


Singer sewn binding 


Singer sewing is a beautiful bookbinding method where a single thread of your chosen color is stitched through folded pages at the spine. You can choose the stitching to be visible or tucked away inside.


Bear in mind that this binding technique doesn’t require adhesives or staples, making it ideal for books with a single section. 


Interscrew binding


If you are looking for the best and most durable print finish for your portfolio, an office document, or restaurant menus, interscrew binding, also called Chicago screw binding, is a great option.


This style is characterized by holes, which are precisely drilled and fixed with binding screws between two covering boards. This binding type allows you to add or remove pages as necessary. 


Japanese binding


This is a traditional softcover technique where single pages are attached with a needle and thread. The lace exposed on the outside is characteristic of this binding type.


Although this method doesn’t allow the book to be laid flat, the details make this binding type charming and ideal for diaries and notebooks.


Japanese binding
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: e.backlund

Conclusion


The eight types of binding for books that we have explained mean that you have options to choose how you want your books, documents, portfolios, or journals to be bound. 


Every binding type has advantages and disadvantages and its application. For example, spiral binding is ideal for notebooks, hardcover binding is perfect for books, and interscrew binding can be used for restaurant menus, portfolios, or office documents.


So, remember that the printing industry offers many types of binding techniques, each suited to different types of books. The choice of binding technique depends on factors like the book’s purpose, size, and aesthetic preference.


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