The sewing and covering of a book.

The sewing and covering of a book. When the leaves of a codex had been written and illuminated, they were assembled into gatherings (quires) and sewn together. Generally they were sewn onto supports (cords), although there also existed an unsupported form of sewing in which only the thread served to bind the quires together (Coptic sewing). The loose ends of the cords were then attached to boards, normally of wood (see channeling and pegging), which were then covered, usually with damp leather. The covering could be decorated in a number of ways (see applied covers, blocked, chemise binding, cut leather, panels, tanned, and tooled). Clasps or strap and pin mechanisms would then be attached to hold the book in shape, and bosses might be added to protect the binding. Binding was generally undertaken in the scriptorium or by stationers. See also binder, chained book, endbands, gauffered, kettle stitch, limp binding, pastedown, sewing on supports, sewing stations, staple, and title piece.

  • Armenian:
  • French:
  • German:
    Bucheinband; Einband
  • Italian:
    copertura; legatura
  • Portuguese:
  • Spanish:

Michelle Brown. Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, c1994).

Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 50-57.