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Edelpappband / “Millimeter” Binding Bind-O-Rama

Little known, what is referred to as the “millimeter” binding in North America, is a “nobler” version of the German “pappband,” or paper binding, hence the name “edelpappband.” The technique is based on the German case (Bradel) binding which is covered in paper. What distinguishes the technique is that cloth, leather, or vellum trim is added at the head and tail, foredges, and/or corners of the case for greater durability while making the book more elegant.

This style of binding is well suited for smaller, thinner books, and with the right proportions, including very small squares and thin boards, creates an extremely elegant and precise binding suitable for editions as well as one-of-a-kind bindings. Full instructions to the technique were published in the prior issue of the Bonefolder (Vol 1, No. 2, 2005) along with a call for entries.

In Denmark, a variant with the leather trim running along the entire length of the head and tail is referred to the as Rubow binding after the librarian who suggested it.

The “edelpappband” is distinctly different from the “Danish millimeter” binding which has the shoulders backed to 90°, is made in-boards, and is covered with a full leather spine which is worked into the groove and is only visible for a few millimeters on the boards.

Of the nineteen binders whose works are shown here, fourteen were first exposed to this technique through the earlier Bonefolder article. While the degree of precision varied with experience, it is exciting to see that these binders took up the challenge and hoped that they will continue to refine their technique and experiment. Unless otherwise indicated, first experiences with this technique were a result of the article published in the Bonefolder (Vol 2, No. 1, 2005).

Peter Verheyen, Exhibit “Instigator”

Cathy Adelman, Malibu, CA, USA.

Franz Kafka, Josephine the Singer, Press Intermezzo.

This millimeter binding is covered in paper designed by the binder, with leather trim at the head and tail of spine. Leather endbands, graphite edge, leather label, titled with foil. 20cm x 16 x 1cm.

Introduced to this technique, along with 4 variations, by Edwin Heim at the Centro del Bel Libro.

Adrienne Allen, Sydney, Australia.

Jack McClaren, My Crowded Solitude, MacMillan Company, 1990.

This book is about a coconut plantation as is reflected in the cover design, made in Illustrator 10 and printed on pale yellow Caslon “Print-On” paper. The paper was sprayed with inkjet color fixative. The edges of the boards are covered with pale blue bookcloth. The endpapers are a deeper yellow. 22 x 14 x 1.5cm. Bound 2005.

Whitney Baker, Lawrence, KS, USA.

Alvah Bessie’s Spanish Civil War Notebooks, University Press of Kentucky, 2002.

Paste paper covers (made by binder), orange goatskin trim at head and tail; laser-printed label on green Moriki, stuck-on commercial endbands. 21 x 13.5 x 2cm. Bound 2005.

Lorraine Bates, Kin Kin, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh.

New endpapers printed with maps of the “100 Aker Wood.” Covered in cream wallpaper with blue star motifs and Winnie the Pooh image (downloaded from Internet and printed on photo paper with inkjet printer). Whisky kangaroo leather trim at foredges, tail of spine, and title panel at head of spine. Title blocked in cream foil. Dark blue kangaroo leather headbands. 19 x 13 x 2cm. Bound 2005.

Bruce Bumbarger, Haverford, PA, USA.

The New Bookbinder, 1986.

Tan goatskin trim along head and tail, tan goatskin label, Swedish marbled Hahnemuhle paper, sewn silk headbands. 28 x 22 x 1.2cm. Bound 2005.

Taught by Fritz and Trudy Eberhardt, Harleysville, PA

Donia Conn, Syracuse, NY, USA.

B. A. St. Andrews, Learning from Renoir, Wells College Press, 2003.

Hand made paste paper with indigo Cave Paper staggered head and tail. Invisible foredge of indigo Cave paper. Mottled acrylic edge to match pochoir frontispiece. Indigo Cave Paper wrapped endbands. 28.6 x 17.4 x 1.1cm. Bound 2005.

Leigh Craven, Manlius, NY, USA.

In Flight: Triennial Exhibition, Guild of Book Workers, 2005.

Endpapers same as text; pastepaper endband (same as cover) around thread core; goat skin trim at head/tail caps and along foredge; covered in handmade pastepaper. 26.5 x 15.5 x 1cm. Bound 2005.

Soline d’Haussy, Lawrence, KS, USA.

Ann Camp, Pen Lettering, Dryad Press, Leicester.

Speckled paper covers (made by binder); black calf skin; gold lettering achieved with a Kwickprint; stuck-on commercial endbands. 22 x 14.5 x 1.4cm. Bound 2005.

Lesa Dowd, Chicago, IL, USA.

Sample encapsulated volume sewn on linen tapes. Red elephant-hide endpapers. Rolled pastepaper endbands. Cover and onlays composed of various pastepapers (made by the binder). Purple Oasis goatskin at foredges, head of spine, and tail of spine. 19.5 x 18.3 x 1.3cm. Bound 2005.

Anna Embree, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA.

Flat-back case binding; pastepaper with brown goatskin trim along entire head and tail. 25.7 x 16 x 1cm. Bound 2005.

Case binding; pastepaper with brown goatskin trim along entire head and tail. 20.6 x 15.7 x 1.3cm. Bound 2005.

Janet Engle, Upper Sandusky, Ohio, USA.

Zitkala-Sa, Old Indian Legends.

Bound with black cloth trim at head, tail, and foredges, covered with red pastepaper and decorated with strips of torn and cut mulberry paper in the design of a dreamcatcher. 22 x 14.5 x 1cm. Bound 2005.

Ethan Ensign, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Helmut Lehmann-Haupt, 100 Books About Bookbinding.

Green Harmatan leather trim at foredges and endcaps, Swedish marbled paper on binding, paper label. 18.5 x 13.5 x 1.25cm. Bound 2005.

Darren A. Fuller, Navan, County Meath, Republic of Ireland.

R.D. Barnett, Illustrations of Old Testament History, 1977.

The text is a British Museum catalogue of artifacts from the Old Testament period. Hand marbled endsheets; text sewn on tapes; hand-sewn endbands; black leather trim at head and tail; covered in marbled pink and gray paper, and over-printed with Medo-Persian design. Black paper spine label with gold colored foil titling. 24 x 16.5 x 2cm. Bound 2005.

Karen Hanmer, Glenview, IL, USA.

The Bedroom Companion, a 1938 compilation of naughty stories for men.

Bookcloth made by binder from fabric reminiscent of hipsters dressing gown. Goatskin trim at foredges, head and tail. Edges colored with acrylic to match paper label. 23 x 16 x 3.5cm. Bound 2005.

Manuela Dunn, Saints, the Chosen Few.

Gold goatskin trim along entire perimeter of case echoes gold edge on holy cards. Pale green Ingres endsheets and on case. Edges colored with gold acrylic. 23 x 19 x 2.5cm. Bound 2005.

David Peters, Leatherhead, UK.

Kitchen Note Book.

Text block of blank loose sheets oversewn; endpapers, 2 double folio 130 gsm Snowdon Cartridge sewn all along and hook/linked to oversewing and tipped on; case covered in handmade Pineapple paper with Nigerian goatskin top edge and spine piece with cane cored headband; title free-hand tooled in gold using Vivaldi script matching the lettering on the front cover which is an inkjet print on matte paper and depicting an early Caribbean Kitchen. 30.5 x 21.5 x 1.5cm. Bound 2005.

Don Rash, Plains, PA, USA.

Clark Ashton Smith, Planets and Dimensions, Arkham House 1973.

Marbled paper millimeter binding with black goatskin strips at head and tail. All edges graphite, Handsewn white silk endbands. Gray handmade paper endsheets. Cover paper marbled by the binder: graphite pigment on offwhite Hannemühle Ingres.

This was a student piece done while studying with Trudi Eberhardt some 20 years ago, and thus has numerous flaws. I’m still fond of the cover marbling, though, which seems appropriate to the subject matter.

Gregory Santos, Queens, NY, USA.

Sewn on three linen tapes; endsheets of cream Fabriano paper; endbands of pumpkin-colored Strathmore paper around thread core; natural goatskin trim running vertically down center of spine; covered in Nideggen paper. 18 x 11.5 x 1.6cm. Bound 2005.

Betsey Stout, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Indische Miniaturen.

Light green harmatan leather trim on top and bottom edges, blue ingres paper and decorative paper inset on front and rear boards. 19 x 12.5 x 1cm. Bound 2005.

Peter D. Verheyen, Syracuse, NY, USA.

The Enchiridon of Epictetus, Press Intermezzo, 1997.

Endpapers of red Roma paper; top edge gilt; endband of pastepaper around thread core, vellum trim along top and bottom edges; covered in hand-made pastepaper; title in gold on front cover. 16.5 x 12 x 1cm. Bound 2005.

Fritz and Trudi Eberhardt, Rules for Bookbinders, The Boss Dog Press, 2003.

Endpapers same as text; top edge in graphite and burnished; dark red leather endband around thread core; vellum trim at head/tail caps with invisible corners; covered in handmade pastepaper; title in graphite on front cover. Soft “Ascona-style” slipcase covered in paper to match book with title in graphite on spine. 18 x 12.5 x 1cm. Bound 2005.

Introduced to the technique during an internship at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum and formal apprenticeship at the Buchbinderei Klein, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

The following use the same underlying structure as the edelpappband/millimeter binding, but because they have full leather spines do not fit the criteria of the technique.

Sherry Barber, Frisco, TX.

Millimeter binding with French Chagrin spine and foredges, hand marbled papers by Catherine Levine on covers. 24.5 cm x 14.5 cm x 2.2cm. Bound 2005.

Carole Vanderhoof, Lonely Pine Bindery, Rifton, NY, USA.

Beethoven Piano Solos.

Covered in Harmatan goatskin and pastepaper. The headband is gold velvet ribbon. Leather was used for trim on the spine and foredges. 33 x 26.5 x 2cm. Bound 2005.

My first instructor, trained in Stuttgart, Germany in the early 1930’s, used this type of binding extensively.

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