A Tisket, A Tacket…

Handbound book with tacket binding and fabric cover

A red and black book jacket. My apologies to Ella Fitzgerald.  That’s not how the song goes of course. Tacket refers to a hand sewing method of binding a book. Basically, it resembles a running stitch that is wrapped.  Studio CaiLun has a very clear tutorial using this form of hand sewn binding. The wrapped effect of the binding gives the spine a bit of a jazzed look.

Above is my finished book with tacket binding.  The cover of this book and the Ninja book below is made from cotton fabric purchased from KimonoMomo. The fabric is backed with nylon tricot and then glued onto the book boards.


Handbound "Ninja" book with tacket binding

Not sure if I will use a tacket binding for the books that I sell. It is rather labor intensive, as the wrapping takes a bit of time. The end result looks quite pretty, so I may reserve this technique for gift items or special orders.

And while I’m on the subject of bookbinding, here is my attempt at the “Rope” stitching described by Keith Smith in “1, 2, & 3 Section Sewings:  Non-Adhesive Binding Volume III”.

Record book with rope binding

The rope binding is another decorative wrapping technique and done with two needles, one at each end of  a single length of thread. It also lends an attractive appearance to the spine. The record book is part of a collection of  old 45s and 33 1/3 rpm records that I handcut and bind to create a blank journal or sketchbook. None of the records are playable and so they are recycled into another life.

After sewing with the rope binding, I realized that there are many other techniques that can be used in hand sewing a binding. Some that come to mind are used in finishing the ends of a weaving project:  twining, twisting, braiding and plaiting to name a few. I’m sure that tapestry techniques such as soumak can also be incorporated into a bookbinding technique. I really like the idea of  sharing forms from various media, and so my experiments continue.


5 Responses

  1. Very.very cool. I love the looks of that tacket binding. I suspect Ella would approve! You have now given me an earworm for the day, but oh my, what a good one.
    Bring it on Ms. Fitzgerald

  2. I am trying to cut some albums for a mini album project. I’ve tried a circular saw, different pieces of a dremel and that’s all the tools I have. How do you cut those darn things? Thanks, they’re awesome.

    • Hi Holly, Thanks for your interest. Vinyl records are a bit stubborn to cut. I use a variety of tools depending on the quality of the vinyl. You can use tin snips that you can find at a place like Lowe’s or Home Depot. Or you can use sharp kitchen shears. I also use a good utility/mat knife against a metal straight edge, scoring the record several times before the vinyl piece snaps free. All of these methods take a bit of practice, but they probably work better than a circular saw. Good luck!

  3. Beautiful books, but I could wish that you demonstrated each of them on video, as I am trying to extend my binding techniques for small books. Peter with all good wishes from England

  4. I just realized I never thanked you. Your response is very helpful and much appreciated. Thank you for the inspiration. Happy day, H

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