All in the Spine: Long Stitch Binding

with Suzanne Glémot
Tuesdays: March 12, 19, 26; 6–9pm CT

Learn the foundations of the long stitch binding, a non-adhesive structure in which the sewing pattern’s design seems endlessly variable. Drawing from its history of use in account and record books across Early Modern Europe, this technique beautifully balances structural function with decorative elements.

In this virtual workshop, learn how to design and transpose a sewing pattern onto the spine of a paper case, based on a chosen number of signatures. Then, with step-by-step instructions, sew your text block into the covering materials through leather supports. Decorative elements such as button closures and stitching/embroidering into case paper will also be covered in demos throughout the workshop, and participants will learn how to strategize an ‘order of operations’ that fits their design choices.

Participants will complete their own long stitch binding and come away equipped to pursue variations in future design.

Participants must have taken Introduction to Hand Bookbinding (or equivalent) to enroll in this workshop. Participants will benefit from understanding grain direction and from having the ability to maintain even sewing tension while binding multiple sections (a key aspect of this book structure). Please note that this structure requires precise drawing and measuring, down to 1-2 millimeters. Additionally, the process of ‘punching’ the sewing pattern into the case paper and the sections requires some sustained hand strength.

Experience required
Certificate: 9 hours, Category B, C, or D

$221/participant (10% discount for MCBA members) + $45 supply fee*
$111 for BIPOC/Financial scholarship participants (10% discount for MCBA members) + $45 supply fee*
MCBA offers two scholarship types for workshops—Financial Hardship Scholarships and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Scholarships—to honor equity and increase access and artistic opportunities for those who have historically been underrepresented in the book arts. For individuals to whom these scholarships do not apply, register at the Adult rate and, if you are able, consider making a donation when registering to support MCBA’s efforts to make scholarships available.
*Shipping available within the continental US only

What you’ll need to participate
Tech requirements: For this participatory virtual workshop we recommend joining on a laptop or desktop computer with a camera and microphone, if possible. You will receive step-by-step instructions for downloading Zoom (it’s free!) and accessing the workshop online approximately 2 days before the workshop’s start date.
Materials: You are responsible for sourcing your own materials from the materials list. You are welcome to reach out to teaching artists with questions about materials in advance of the workshop (contact information is listed on the materials list). This workshop also includes a materials kit that the teaching artist will ship to the address provided at registration (paid for by the materials fee*).

This workshop is full. Add your name to the wait list and you’ll be contacted if space becomes available or another section of the workshop is scheduled.