Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three Types of Langstichheftung

Inspired by a photo, I attempted to do a sample of each Langstichheftung (longstitch) binding style descriped by Szirmai. The three different structures he describes (in my photo, left to right) are the archival sewing, and the independent longstitch sewing, and the all-along sewing with change-over chain stitch.

These structures seem to be typical of the medieval limp leather bindings. Here's the photo that I started with. My attempt at the extra interwoven sewing created a rather thick and bulky pattern in comparison, but perhaps mine will look more similar after 400 years!


Ali said...

How fantastic Rhonda! Love the big chunky 'X's!

tulibri said...

Hi Rhonda, these look really great and like perfect replicas! I don't think the stitching is too bulky; it looks pretty much the same on the picture. Does Szirmai provide instructions on how to do these?

Carol said...

You are so inspirational Rhoda. I plan to do these things from Szirmai - but you actually work it out and DO them. I'm very impressed. Even more so because there are no instructions.

MyHandboundBooks said...

thanks ali, tulibri, and carol!

The descriptions that Szirmai provides are quite good, and although they aren't step-by-step instructional, his little diagrams are very helpful.

But no, Szirmai doesn't provide any description of that extra interwoven sewing to make that chunk X pattern. Of course, it starts out as a very plain longstitch (the archival sewing that he describes). Then the interweaving to create the X happens just on the outside (just going back and forth over and under the threads) - and is more decorative than functional.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhonda

WOW you are so clever to be able to copy a book just from a picture. I think yours look very like the ones in the original image.

Well done, as a newbie who is Szirimai?


MyHandboundBooks said...

thanks Billie!

Szirmai is the author of the text, The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding, an extremely thorough study of ancient bookbinding techniques.

Susannah said...

Hi Rhonda

I came across your website by chance, and was very impressed with your books. I have had a few goes at book binding, using Keith Smith as a guide, with a local paper arts studio, (local being Hobart in Australia) and it really is great fun. It certainly gave me a good appreciation of how tricky some of the stitching is, so I can appreciate just how lovely your work is.



MyHandboundBooks said...

thanks so much, Susannah!

lala412 said...

Oooh! Those are amazing, especially the one with the big "x"s on it! I've bound some sketchbooks for myself, mostly just accordian-fold with fabric covering the bookboard (or cardboard, as the case may be) - I'd love to take a class and learn to do what you do! But for now, I'll just keep buying from your shop. :-)