Sustainable Textile Teach-In: Bookbinding

Papers & Petals Series



This summer, our Sustainable Textile Teach-Ins have taken on the theme of Papers & Petals, introducing you to techniques for using flowers and paper in your projects! Bookbinding is the third and final installment of our Paper & Petals Series!

Join Education Coordinator Yahn Nemirovsky to learn introductory bookbinding skills such as making a pamphlet, binding a book with multiple signatures, and single sheet binding. Use scrap and other repurposed paper, or, if you made paper with floral inclusions during the previous installment of the series, Handmade Paper, feel free to bring it along to be used for binding!

All skill levels and ages are welcome. Class size is limited, registration is required.   

You will receive the Zoom meeting access info in a confirmation email upon registration for this program.  A reminder email with complete details on required and optional preparation will be sent out in advance of the Teach-In. 

Type: Program

Date: Aug 25, 4pm - 5:30pm


If you plan to follow along and try some bookbinding during the Teach-In, please have the following materials ready to work with. If not, feel free to watch and listen, then try the techniques out later!

Scrap Paper  This could include drawing paper, watercolour paper, printer paper, artwork—really anything you’d like to try, though keep in mind that the paper should be strong enough to withstand the binding process (ie. not tissue paper). Depending on the weight of the paper you choose to work with, you may have to select specific binding techniques to accommodate them.

If you participated in July’s installment of our Papers & Petals series, Handmade Paper, you might consider bringing some of what you made to bind with! This paper will likely be best suited to Single Sheet Bookbinding, which we’ll cover during the Teach-In.

Exacto Knife / Paper Cutter / Scissors  Use whichever of these is available to you. Bookbinders use paper cutters rather than scissors to ensure that the dimensions of their papers are just right, and there won’t be any wavy lines or inconsistencies.

Sewing Needle, Awl  (awl is optional) You will need a sewing needle for stitching, which can also be used for piercing holes in your paper prior to binding. If you have access to an awl, I recommend having that handy to use! A straight or curved needle can be used for the stitching, though a straight needle will be easiest to use for piercing the holes in the paper. Make sure that the thickness of the needle and size of its eye are large enough to accommodate the thread you’ve selected to work with.

Thread  A sturdy cotton or linen with a little bit of thickness to it is ideal, though a sewing thread will also work. You want to use something strong that won’t tear easily under tension.

Beeswax  (optional) Beeswax can be applied to thread before binding in order to help prevent the tearing of paper and strengthen stitches.

Pencil, Eraser, Ruler  Make sure that the ruler is longer than the length of the book you’re looking to create so that it’s easy to use for making consistent measurements.

Cutting matt / Cardboard  If you’ll be using an Exacto knife to cut your paper, use whatever surface you feel comfortable cutting on.

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