Sewn Case Binding

Sewn case binding, also known as “edition binding”, is the most expensive binding method, but is the most durable. It can be used for any book thickness, but the most common thicknesses range from 1/4″ up to 3″. A number of steps are required to complete a sewn case bound book, so the process is very automated.

  • A large printed sheet containing 16 or 32 individual book pages, called a signature, is cut apart, folded, and assembled in the correct page order.
  • The signature is sewn together with other signatures.
  • Endleave papers, which are usually made of heavier stock than the other pages of the book, are glued to the outside of the first and last signatures.
  • The book is trimmed on three sides.
  • The sewn edge (spine) of the book is coated with glue.
  • The spine of the book is rounded in a machine to allow the cover of the book to function properly when it is attached.
  • A strip of gauze is wrapped around the spine of the book.
  • The cases (covers) that will be used for the book are made from heavy board stock with its grain running parallel to the spine of the book to prevent warping of the cover. The heavy board cases are wrapped with embossed paper, cloth, plastic coated material, leather, or other materials to form the final covering.
  • The book is attached to its hard case/cover on a casing-in machine, which glues the endleave papers to the case.
  • The final step is to insert the book into a hydraulic press to ensure that it dries properly and does not warp.


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