Medieval Bookbinding



Medieval Bookbinding


For this project, I wanted to explore books and literature in the medieval period, so I chose to do bookbinding. I started with folding large sheets of parchment into signatures for sewing together along with making straps for the binding from leather. I followed a medieval "herringbone" stitching pattern for the spine and glued the spine together (which would have traditionally been hide glue). I used wooden boards for the covers of the book. I used pine but most likely oak or beech would have been used. Cutting slots into the boards I pulled the binding straps through to secure everything together. Then I covered the exterior with leather (I used faux leather, but in medieval times real leather would have been used, with intricate patterns carved into it). Finally, to understand the laborious work of scribes in that period, I transcribed some of the medieval song lyrics we did in class into the book. I faced some challenges with this project such as not always having the correct materials and poking myself with the sewing needle one too many times! Overall though I really enjoyed this creative process as well as researching the history of books in the medieval era!


Rebecca Lourenco