Friday, March 27, 2009


I have been facinated by bookbinding for at least a couple of years now, and I have wanted to do something serious about it for just as long.
So, yesterday I bought some second-hand bookbinding tolls. Now I can't wait to get to work, making some books!

These are the items that I bought.
From left to right: Sewing press, Cutting press and a "plough".
Descriptions on the function of the different tools will be given as I get to try them out.

I think that these tools should be suficcient to get me started. Now I just need to find some sources on medieval bookbinings (It has to be medieval of course).

Sources for the binding of books aren't exactly numerous on the internet, but I have manageded to find some:
Medieval manuscripts on-line

And this fantastic site:
Hand bookbindings from Princeton university library

I will also use this oppotunity to post some pictures of a project that I finished sometime around July last year:

The book is made using techniques that are at least inspired by medieval bookbinding. I was not in posession of the correct materials for the project, but it gave me some interesting insight into the processes that go into making a book.

I think it came out pretty nice... Authencic materials or not :-)

The pages should have been parchment, the binding should have been oak boards, and the leather should have been thinner.
The technique for joining the pages to the cower should be pretty historicly accurate though.

Hope to show you more books soon!


  1. I think I would have been tempted to buy them for the beauty of the tools themselves!


  2. They ARE very good looking. Althoug I am more interested in getting to try them out, as soon as possible!
    Im going to the city to look for paper some time next week.

    My girlfriend also like the look of them. Prettey lucky for me, considering they are stashed in our livingroom for the time being ;-)

  3. You can use paper for books in the 15thc, it was very common, parchment was expensive even then.

    Lovely work all round though, excellent.

  4. where did you buy your cutting press?! I've been looking all over for one... I've resigned to make a sewing press for myself...

  5. @ Anon:
    I got the press from a second hand store here in Denmark.
    I think I paid about 125 dkr for all the tools. Thats about 17 Euros... Pretty cheap! :-)

    @ Medieval paint:
    Thank you for the info.
    Your blog looks really interesting! I'm looking forward to reading more.