*Sewn headbands like seen in the picture to the right came into practice in the early 16th century. They are a great place to add decorative detail to a book but also have a structural function - protecting the cover material right behind them. This area is vulnerable when taking a book on and off a shelf. *
*Leather hinges have been used since the 17th century and were designed to add strength to the joint.
Decorative Technique - laminated boards
This book has some beautiful illustrations by it's author/illustrator. For the cover design I wanted to pull them through, but in a subtle way. I took a picture of the image that I liked best and made a template to create thin boards that were carefully cut, sanded and then glued to the cover. Then I as ready to cover with leather and bring the illustration to life. Adding the eyes with blind tooling was the finishing touch.
*Leather onlay is an old technique dating back to the 17th century in England. It is done by paring leather paper thin, creating your shape, and gluing it to the cover of your book. The edges on the backside of the leather are pared down to nothing so their is no bump from the cover of your book to the onlay. Once glued in place the edges of the only can be blind tooled which helps to create a pillowed or quilted look.
*The technique that creates a protective "cap" at the head and tail of the book was created in the early 16th Century. It is done by pulling some leather from the spine section while covering and working the leather until you have formed the characteristic crescent shape. The exact shape is up the the binder's discretion, but both the head and the tail should be the same.
As a binder it is very important to me that each and every book I make functions in the way I intend. It should feel good in the hand, have covers that open/close easily and correctly (with the spine edge / fore-edge width's the same, even with inclusions, such as photographs). One should also be able to view the contents easily. There should be enough give in the spine of the book so that we can read and view photographs with ease.
*Definitions above were sourced from Matt T. Roberts and Don Etherington's book Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books