Chapter 9 – Glossary of Bindery Terms

From The Standard, Volume 6, 2015, courtesy of Sappi North America.

(For other glossaries related to this chapter, go to Varnish & Coating Terms or Special Effects Terms.)

Adhesive Binding • Versatile method of binding in which pages are adhered together with glue.

Bench Sewing • Signatures sewn together through the fold by hand.

Binding Dummy • A paper dummy of the book made of the actual paper stock to be used in the exact weight, finish, and size, and assembled in the chosen binding method.

Bulking Sample • Blank book made of the actual stock to be used to show the thickness of the entire book.

Caliper • Thickness of an individual sheet of paper; must be considered when determining the most efficient method of binding.

Case • Book cover produced separately from the inner pages and later attached by case binding, made of two covered boards.

Case Binding (edition binding) • Signatures are bound together and attached to the case by end sheets (flyleaf), used for hardcover books.

Codex • Ancient book made of folded sheets of papyrus or parchment bound together at one edge.

Comb Binding • Sheets with a row of rectangular holes are placed over an open plastic comb, which is then closed.

Compensation • Printers will compensate for creep by adjusting the inner margins of the innermost spreads incrementally, so that edges will be even.

Cover Board • A hard cardboard, sometimes called binder’s board, used to make book covers.

Creep (push out) • Tendency of the inner pages of a saddle-stitched or sewn book to extend further from the spine than outer pages. The more pages, the more likely that this will occur.

Flush-Trim • All of the pages are cut flush to the face. Foldouts require
special attention.

Flyleaf • The end or last freestanding leaves in a book.

Grind-Off • Used in perfect binding, the spine is trimmed roughly to improve adhesion to the cover.

Gutter Margin • Margin between two facing pages of a book; wider gutters are required for thicker books.

Hinge Score • A score made at the point where the end sheet and flyleaf meet and join the spine to make it easier to open the book without cracking.

Lay-Flat Binding • Stack of pages is adhered to a “cap” which binds the covers of the book, so the pages move independently from the spine.

Leaf • Individual sheet of paper which creates two pages; not to be used interchangeably with pages.

Loop Stitch • Folded signatures are bound by a wire that forms small circular loops extending beyond the spine, intended for insertion into a 3-ring binder.

Mechanical Binding • Any binding technique, including the use of combs and coils, that does not involve adhesives, sewing, or stitching.

Perfect Binding • Method of binding in which the spine of a stack of pages is roughened and adhesive binds the cover to the spine.

Perforate • Small holes or slots in paper used to accommodate binding coils or improve adhesion to covers or between pages. If the fold is complicated, the bindery may perforate the head, foot, or spine to let out air that may be trapped in the fold.

Post-and-Screw Binding (Chicago screw) • Barrel post runs through holes drilled into the book and a cap screw is added to keep the pages and covers together.

PPI (pages per inch) • The calculation can be used to determine the spine thickness.

Rule Up • Before starting the press, the prep foreman pulls a sheet and rules it into its final dimension to check for sheet position, imposition accuracy, and other factors to make sure it can be folded and bound properly.

Saddle Stitch • Folded signatures are bound along the fold line; primarily used for books less than 1/4 inch thick.

Scoring • Process of creating a ridge on paper to produce an accurate fold and prevent cracking. The width of the score should equal the caliper of the paper.

Sewn Binding • Any method that uses thread to sew the signatures together.

Side Stitch • Folded signatures or individual sheets are bound on the side of the spine near the gutter margin.

Signature • Also called a press form, a large sheet of paper printed with several pages, which upon folding become a section or all of a book. Folded signatures are gathered or inserted into one another to make a larger book.

Smyth Sewn • A method of machine-sewing together folded, gathered, and collated signatures with a single thread through the folds of individual signatures.

Spiral Binding • A continuous spiral coil runs through a series of holes near the gutter, may have single loop of either plastic or wire.

Stab Binding • A traditional Japanese method of binding that involves stabbing holes along the spine of the book and using thread, twine, or ribbon to make exposed stitches that become a decorative element.

Tape Binding • Tape wraps around the spine of the book; signatures are usually stitched together before taping for reinforcement.

Text Block • Bound block of trimmed signatures, including end sheets, which
is then attached to the case.

Trim • Straight cut intended to remove excess paper or folds of signatures.

Wire-O® • A pre-coiled double-loop wire binding that will handle books larger than 2 inches and will open flat without jogging pages up. Comes in many colors.

If you find omissions or errors in this list, please let us know: