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Send us an email or give us a call at (302) 454-1411 to express your interest or schedule for a group.
Coptic stitch bindings workshop
6 working hours over 2 evenings,
all materials included: $120
Why take this workshop?
You will not find an example of Coptic stitch binding at your local bookstore or on a library shelf, unless you're in a rare books and special collections room. Yet this binding style is popular for good reasons and this workshop explores two of the dozens of variations: single needle sewing along the spine and double needle sewing across the spine.
What is Coptic sewing?
While not proven to be an invention by the ancient Egyptian Christian Copts, a number of forms of this binding date back to the 4th Century. The sewing is exposed on the book spine in a chain pattern of tear-drop-shaped links, which makes it visually appealing to bookmakers and book users alike.
Coptic bindings are considered unsupported sewings as the spine has no added tapes, mull, glue, or other materials generally used to stiffen and strengthen the spine area. Because the spines are unsupported they are flexible, which allows the inside pages to lie open perfectly flat. Covers are made flush so the book block will not sag when it is stored upright on a shelf.
So what can you do with a coptic stitch book?
Exposed stitching gives these books instant curb appeal. And because they open flat, Coptic sewn books are especially useful as journals, sketchbooks, for recording recipes, and assembly directions–any time you need both hands while keeping an eye on the page. Since cover boards are built separately, they are often made of unusual materials like wood, metal, plastic, clay, and so on. What's more, the text pages themselves can also be made of any combination of those same materials, as well as different colors and weights of paper. This makes Coptic stitch books ideal as artists books and perfect for one-of-a-kind, made-with-you-in-mind gift books, either blank or pre-filled with memorabilia.
For this workshop
Younger participants may require adult assistance with measuring, using a craft knife and awl.
Ages 9 to adult.
Wear comfortable shoes and work clothes.
Bring your camera.
We supply all tools and materials.
- Showcase of examples of single- and double-needle Coptic stitching
- Discuss characteristics of the format, sewing materials and station placement
- Fold text pages and create punching pattern
- Prepare covers and drill or punch for binding
- Measure thread and thread needle(s)
- Hands on stitching, adjustments to thread tension and tying off at start & finish
Samples of Coptic stitch books with wood covers.