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In the second or third century AD, the Copts, early Christians living in Egypt,
developed the Coptic binding. They folded a few sheets of papyrus together into
sections. Then, adapting their technique of interlacing threads in carpet making
and weaving, they used a chain stitch to bind the sections between wooden
covers. Once parchment became available, it quickly replaced papyrus for the
pages. This binding technique was used throughout the Islamic world and Eastern
Christendom (Europe), and is still used in Ethiopia today. By the fall of Rome, in
476AD, parchment had largely replaced papyrus except in Egypt.


Folio- One sheet of paper folded in half

Leaf- one half of the folio

Page- one side of the leaf

A leaf has two leaves and/or four pages

Section-a gathering of folios (also known as signature)

Sewing station-sewing holes in the gutter fold

Book Components

What you Need

Two Pieces of hard board for the cover.
(Mat board or canvas board works really well)

5+ Sections
(5 folios in each section)

String for binding

(Waxed thread is easy to use but not necessary)
**Embroidery floss or warp can be run through a block of beeswax to achieve a
wax coating.**


Strong Needle
(a curved tapestry needle is easier to use)
Pliers- optional
Book Cradle
Punch Out template

Step one, drill the holes in the cover, using the template, and punch the holes in
the middle of each section using the book cradle, awl, and punch out template.
Make sure all the holes line up.

Step two, cut one string to bind all the sections and the covers together.

Let's Make a Book!

Start with the first section

1. Start the string from the inside top hole and string through the out side.

2. Take the cover board and sew the string in from the outside and back into the
hole in the paper
3. Take string through the next hole punch out in the section.

4. Go through the outside if the cover and the back into the same hole.

Repeat until you get to the last hole

5. After going through the last hole in the cover, instead of going back through

the same hole, get the next section and go through the corresponding hole
6. Pull your string out through the next hole and then loop the string behind the

string connecting the cover to the first section and then go back into the same

Continue the same steps as before until you only have one section and the
cover left.

7. Place the cover on top of your sewn sections and loop the string in the hole
from the outside, into the string connecting your last two sections and then go back
into the last section and go out the next hole.
8. Continue the stitching until you finish then just knot the string.

You Have Just Completed A Book!!