Japanese Four-hole Binding

Posted by TheDocraftsTeam, 16 Dec, 2015

Looking for a simpler approach to stitch binding when it comes to creating your own notebooks? Try this technique . . . Japanese ‘stab’ binding is one of the earliest forms of bookbinding. The books are simple and fun to make and require few materials. There are countless stitching styles and patterns, which can be used to sew your book together. This tutorial uses the most common variation: Yotsume Toji, or four-eye binding. This project by Fran McKay was originally published in docrafts November issue (64) of Creativity Magazine.

You will need: - Ruler - Heavy needle - Scissors - Awl - Twine - Two decorative papers for the covers - Plain paper for the book pages 1. Using your ruler and a pencil, mark four ‘sewing stations’ on the back side of one of your cover papers. They should be at least 10mm from the edges, and evenly spaced across the width of your book. When held with the stations horizontally at the top, the stations will be ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, and ‘4’ from left to right. 2. Pierce each station using your awl. Then, using the cover as a template, pierce the book pages and the back cover. Use the awl to widen the holes enough for your twine to pass through several times. 3. Thread your needle with a metre or so of your twine. The length will vary depending on how large you make your book, but you can always trim off any excess at the end. 4. To begin binding, bring your needle through station 2 from back to front, leaving a tail to be tied off later. Wrap thread around the spine, and come back through station 2 again, back to front. 5. Pass needle through station 1, front to back. Wrap thread around spine as before, and pass through station 1 again, front to back. Wrap the thread around again, but this time around the edge, or ‘head’ of the book, and through station 1 a final time. 6. Come up at station 2 again from back to front, and then down through station 3, from front to back. Wrap the thread around the spine as before, and pass through station 3 again, front to back. 7. Bring the needle through station 4, back to front. Wrap around the spine, and back through station 4 again. As at station 1, now wrap the thread around the edge of the book (this is called the ‘tail’) and back through station 4 a final time. 8. To finish your book, pass the needle through station 3 from front to back. Use the end of your thread and the tail from the beginning to tie a square knot, and clip off the excess thread.

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