There are a myriad of book binding types and methods out there and understanding them can get confusing. Why choose one over another? Which ones make for stronger books, and which ones will lay flat for easier writing?
In this quick guide, we explain the 5 most common book binding methods you need to know.
- Saddle stitch (or staple) binding
- Singer-sewn binding
- Wire-o, comb or spiral binding
- Hardcover or case binding
- Ota bind or layflat book binding
Book Binding Types:
1. Saddle stitch (or staple) binding
Often used for books that have a short-term use, or those with a small number of pages, saddle stitch binding is the second most commonly used type of bind in commercial books and magazines. Think brochures, catalogues, program books, and even exercise books.
Saddle-stitching is one of the simplest ways to secure printed sheets of paper folded in half and usually done using staples, or thread to hold the book together at its spine. We personally prefer sewn notebooks.
Books bound using saddle-stitching have a minimal spine area and can be opened up flat, making them preferred for notebooks. The outer most paper also serves as the book cover, which is usually a softcover.
2. Singer-sewn binding
One of our favourite binding methods is Singer sewing. Not to be confused with saddle stitch binding, Singer sewing is a traditional method of bookbinding where a single thread is stitched through folded pages at the spine. No adhesives or staples are used, leaving only a single thread visible on the outside of the notebook. This creates a beautiful contrast when the thread is of a different colour from the cover of the notebook.
Singer-sewn notebooks are generally thinner and often found in the form of slim notebooks and exercise books.
3. Wire-o, comb or spiral binding
A classic book binding type that is deceptively simple and functional. Involving only a hole puncher and a loop wire, it secures papers in a form that allows a book to lay completely open as well as fold back onto itself.
It is effective and low cost, making it a popular option for binding commercial documents and book copies. Done well, a brass wire-o finish lends an elegant touch to any notebook.
View our selection of wire-o bound notebooks.
Featured: Iron Curtain Press Standard Notebook in Kraft
4. Hardcover or case binding
This is possibly the best binding you could have for a book. It is durable, versatile, and produces a professional looking end result. In the past, all notable books were hard-bound and producing these remain an art form.
Book signatures, or page sections are sewn together, and then glued to end pages, which is then stuck to the cover's spine. There is significant waiting times between each step of the process making a hard cover book much more expensive to produce. Books produced this way are much heavier; but they are beautiful and more durable, making them more valuable.
Hardcover notebooks are favoured as journals, diaries and look beautiful on a shelf when stored away.
5. Ota bind or layflat book binding
Hands down our favourite of the book binding types, we could go on and on about the virtues of layflat binding and how its done. So, why do we love it so much? Simply because it produces books that lay open completely flat, without damaging its spine. And this includes that of softcover and flexicover notebooks.
Book sections are held together by glue, or sewn together (again, we prefer the sewing option) and produce very professional looking books. It takes a long time to produce each one, but it is worth it.