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The art of Bookbinding and the role of the Endband

The art of Bookbinding and the role of the Endband

I am relatively new to the world of bookbinding but over the last fifteen years I've picked up all sorts of knowledge from Mark and Ryan who run the bookbindery. Between them they have been making books for over 70 years and have a wealth of knowledge and a vernacular that is other worldly.

Take for example the endband. This modest yet beautiful piece of small cord or strip of material is now mainly decorative, but once had a crucial role in the binding of books.

The endband band placed at the top of the book is called the headband and is fixed near the spine to provide structural reinforcement, it also helps to resist the strain placed on the book when you get it off the shelf - primarily by putting your finger over the top edge of the spine to pull it out. Traditionally it was sewn into place ( such a fiddley job) but now it is glued on. And then we have the tailband at the bottom of the book whose main role is to support the weight of the pages.

I love the craft of bookbinding and really hope that it continues in its traditional guise as there is little more beautiful than a expertly bound weighty tome


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