Three Case Styles for Three Book­bind­ings with Priscilla Spitler – Day 1

My first session at PBI was marked by not one, but two classes. The other class I took during this time was Priscilla Spitler‘s Three Case Styles for Three Book­bind­ing. The three bindings we worked included quar­ter cloth flatback, half cloth rounded, and full cloth flatback bindings.

I have to admit that the reason I chose this class is because I suffer from F.O.C.I. – Fear of Casing In.

Priscilla Spitler doing a bookbinding demonstration

Priscilla during a sewing demo

We started off by sewing our three text blocks using #25/3 unwaxed linen thread. Priscilla said that she prefers English #18 sewing needles. The blank text blocks were made of 80 lb. Cougar text weight paper, natural smooth finish. One text block was the printed text of the 20th anniversary edition of Gary Frost’s Three Bookbindings.

You knock up the signatures to the head. Mark the signatures on the spine with three diagonal lines so you can keep track of the head. Our text blocks were sewn with an unsupported (no cords or tapes) link stitch. Keep the signatures flat on the table while sewing – Priscilla remarked that there should be no “air sewing”.


Be sure to pull your thread in the direction of your sewing – you don’t want to tear through your signatures by pulling in the wrong direction. Rub your bone folder along each signature after sewing. If you run out of thread, keep your weaver’s knot on the outside of the signatures so it doesn’t show on the inside of the book.

Endpapers were created with paper that was the same height as the text block and twice the width – we folded these in half. We tipped in our endpapers with a 3/32″ line of PVA along the folded edge. Priscilla uses cold flex glue #22 from Ernest Schaeffer. She added that she prefers Hahnemuhle Bugra paper for casing in.


After our text blocks were sewn, we glued up our flatbacks with PVA – this is known as consolidation. You work the PVA into the spine so it fills all of the open spaces. Once the PVA was dry, we added a layer of cambric cloth to the spine with an overlap of 5/8″ over the edges. Rub on the cambric with a bone folder to help with adhesion.

Although it may not sound like much (trust me, it was), that was it for today!

4 Responses to “Three Case Styles for Three Book­bind­ings with Priscilla Spitler – Day 1”

By Kris Stewart - 3 June 2014 Reply

Elissa – Funny. I, too, have F.O.C.I. I think it’s the lack of control at the end of the project, blindly attaching the second end sheet where there’s a chance of perfection failure… I’m getting hives just thinking about it! 😉

I’m dying to know what you thought of the Eskaboard?

By Elissa - 5 June 2014 Reply

Kris –

I liked the Eskaboard just fine. I didn’t cut it, so I can’t vouch for how easily it cuts. I do think that there wouldn’t be any problem though.


By Lizzie - 4 June 2014 Reply

Me too – I have F.O.C.I. (though practice has helped a little)!

Thanks for sharing your lessons with us – it looks like you had a great course. I’ve subscribed to your blog updates, so I can follow the rest of these posts!

By Elissa - 5 June 2014 Reply

Lizzie –

Welcome to the F.O.C.I. support group! I love sharing what it’s like to attend PBI – I hope it gets more people to go there. 🙂


So what do you think? I'd love to know!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This