Endpapers at this time were most often plain and very similar to the text paper. The most common construction was one of the "hooked" variants that were sewn along with the first and last signatures.
|Fritz Otto inspecting the hooked end sheet in this 1825 imprint.|
|These endpapers would have been "hooked" around the first and last signatures, then sewn.|
From "Vorsätze im Buch", Archiv für Buchbinderei,
Vol 13, 1913. Pp 66-71. English translation at HathiTrust.
|From Blaser, Linda, "Development of Endpapers",|
the Guild of Book Workers Journal, Vol 32, Nr. 1.
Also in AIC’s Wiki.
The end leaves can be left longer at the fore-edge, and trimmed back later. Common to these are the guards and/or waste sheets to the outside. After sewing and backing, the cover would be built up on these guards.
These books would have been sewn on sawed-in or untwisted cords. Later, tapes would also have been used. For our binding, we will untwist 3 sets of 4 or 6 "cord", one for each sewing station. The untwisted cords will be laid next to each other flat, the width used for punching holes as if sewing on 3 tapes.
Make a template and pre-punch the sewing holes from the inside out using a sewing needle. A “sewing gauge” for spacing buttons makes this easy.
|Using the "sewing gauge".|
|Template for punching sewing holes.|
We sewed on the untwisted cords rather than regular twisted cords due to a lack of sewing frames at the workshop venue. Sewing on untwisted cords allowed all to easily compact the signatures as with tapes. Transfer the marks from measuring to a folded piece of scrap paper or thin card like from file folders to make your template for pre-punching, or sawing-in as would have been done in the past.
While sewing, ensure that this is even and taut. Use your folder to rub down sections as you go. This will help create a more solid text block.
Apply narrow bead of adhesive at fold of 2nd and 2nd to last (the “text” sections), but make sure not to go beyond that hooked guard. Then make sure all is aligned and the folds line up, and rub down. Trim end leaves at foredge using adjacent text section as guide.
Glue up spine between cords and at ends. Make sure text block is square and signatures line up. Let dry.
|Sewn and glued up text block.|
Note marks across spine at right side
to ensure signature orientation.
Round and back text block:
Round and back to ca 45 degrees, with the base of the shoulder ca. two board thicknesses from top of the shoulder. The thread should provide enough swell for this to happen organically, but gentle backing helps define the shoulder.
|Shaping the spine with the Kashiereisen, also known as a grattoir/frottoir|
For more, go to this post. The one used was made by Jeff Peachey..
|Height of shoulder relative to board thickness.|
|The cords after fraying out with the fray shield.|
After teasing the fibers of the cord apart, they are slipped into
the notch, and a bookbinders' knife is used to finish and make
them silky smooth.
Apply glue to guard, paste to cords, and fan out cords on guards, smoothing with folder as Fritz Otto demonstrates.
|Fanning out the frayed-out cords on the guard.|
|The finished result. He Fritz Otto could have done a better job|
on the one at left, but still better than not fraying at all...
Endbands and spine lining:
Hand-sewn endbands would have been rare on bindings using this structure, so in lieu of weaving them, we will make very simple stuck-on ones out of cotton muslin. Glue/paste out the cord, twist tighter, and roll back and forth on wastepaper until smooth and round. Taking a piece of scrap board, make a cut on each side and stretch cord across, using the tight fit of the cuts to hold cord taut. Glue out fabric slip underneath, fold over, and pull taut around cord with folder.
|The cord stretched and held taut with the fabric before and after.|
The gebrochener Rücken:
|"Gebrochener Pappbandrücken" (1898) at left,|
translated as "spring back" (1903) at right.
|Measuring the spine.|
|Paring the edge of the long sides.|
Finally, round and attach the spine piece, aka the "gebrochener Rücken" to the text block.
|"Gebrochener Rücken" attached to the text block.|
There are two methods of doing this.
- Adhesive is applied from the innermost crease outward so that the spine piece is connected to the text block from the fold at the top of the shoulder on.
- Adhesive is applied from the outermost crease outward so that the spine piece is connected to the text block from the base of the shoulder outwards.
|On the left, the "ur-Bradel" one-piece spine, on the right the later|
2-piece. The image at right is from the first book structure I learned,
and was bound during my 1984 internship in Nuremberg.
First, let's make the boards so that they have a chance to dry. Laminate 3 or more plys (to equal height of shoulder) each of a heavy water color paper like Khadi, Cave Paper, or similar to make the boards. For this model I used 640gsm "rough" Khadi. [Note: I usually make these as one of the first steps so they are dry, flat, and ready for use at this stage]
|The board layers on the completed cut-away model.|
Next, attach the boards (still oversized) to the spine piece, aligning just to the outside of the crease at the base of the shoulder. Put in press and give good nip. Note, in addition to paper, this structure was also used for bindings in cloth, leather, and parchment. Depending on the thickness of the covering material adjust the placement of the board outwards. For leather, the material was generally not worked into the groove as it would be for paper, cloth, or parchment.
|View of board attachment from inside with layers.|
|Both boards are attached.|
Trimming boards and spine:
Next, trim the boards to the final size. To do this traditionally, the German binder would have used an edge-trimming rule that was made with raised “lips” (Kantenlineal) that came in various widths that represented the typical squares that would have been used.
|Cutting the squares using a Kantenlineal.|
Alternatively, mark the squares slightly taller than the endbands all around, and using a rule and sharp knife (box cutter recommended) trim the boards all around. Finally, use scissors to cut spine stiffener to height. A board shear would be cheating...
Open the book, spine down, on the bench and carefully slit the guard where it is attached to the spine at top and bottom (like a hollow) so that the turn-ins can be made. Also tear away any excess from the guard or waste sheet.
|Slit for turn-ins on completed model.|
Glue/paste out the entire covering paper. Next, position the text block on the paper so that the turn-ins are even at top, bottom, and foredge.
Flip over at edge of table, smooth out and carefully work into groove (A clean piece of paper between covering paper and folder will help protect covering. Next rub down on spine, flip over again, work into groove and then smooth across other board.
Next, turn-in starting with top/bottom edges, then foredge. When dry, trim out so that the squares are even.
|Turned-in and trimmed out.|
|The completed model.|
Note the cutaway in the center and the untrimmed board sections,
including at the tail of the book.
|All the models bound during the workshop.|
The day was filled with lots of "do as I say, not as I do" moments...
Fritz Otto for scale.
- Embree, Anna, Deborah Howe, and Consuela Metzger. "This Is What I Call It/This Is How I Do It: Three approaches to a common case binding technique". The Guild of Book Workers Journal, Vol 52, 2023. (pp. 38-56)
- Hebert, Henry. "German Paper Bindings: The Lapped Component". Work of the Hand blog, 11/16/2011.
- La reliure autrement… Manuel pour la reliure et la réparation des livres destinés à la conservation à long terme, 2004. See section 2. Reliure bradel.
- Mesmer, Renate. "Edelpappband". The Guild of Book Workers Journal, Vol. 41, Nr. 2, 2004. (pp. 13-17) Describes the in-boards, built up on text block variant. See also the handout from GBW Standards, 2004.
- Rebsamen, Werner - Gebrochener Rücken,Shaped Spine Case-Binding Techniques, Abby Newsletter, 1987.
- Verheyen, Peter. Tutorials on the German case binding, "millimeter"/Edelpappband, "gebrochener Rücken" ("three piece case binding"), and vellum binding.