Coptic Book Binding Techniques

Coptic Orthodox books and products

The first codices that were ever created are credited to the Copts, a Christian sect which flourished in Egypt from the 2nd Century CE to the 11th Century CE. Coptic book binding techniques are still used today by many people who find this one of the best methods for putting together a codex. Such techniques are elaborated on in the paragraphs that follow.

First, you will need to know what materials are required for Coptic book binding before you start. You will need several sheets of paper (as many as you want your codex to contain), two cover boards, covering paper, a hole puncher, string, scissors and a sewing needle.

Once your materials are assembled, you can begin putting the codex together. Neatly paste the covering paper over each of the cover boards, only covering the margins on one side but covering the entirety of the other side. Take care to do this without causing any bubbles to form on the surface.

Once this is done, use the hole puncher to create four evenly spaced holes on one side of each cover board. Fold the sheets of paper so that they will fit between the cover boards just as the leafs of any other book would. Hole punch these at the fold in the same manner as you did with the cover boards. This will ensure that the sheets will not jut out of the finished product and that they should hold fast once the next steps are completed.

Get your sewing needle and string prepped, and begin threading the needle through the punched holes of both the sheets of paper and the cover boards. You should do this for each separate hole one at a time, taking care that the individual string is not just used for all of the holes, but that it is threaded through one cover board hole and its corresponding paper sheets hole. Use the scissors to cut the string, then repeat the process for each subsequent hole.

You have to make sure that the string is tightened very securely. The last thing you will want is for all of the pages to start falling out of your finished product. Do not worry about the string being so taut that it will tear the pages. The cover boards should be thick enough to protect the paper from any adverse wear and tear that could occur as a result of this.

Once all of the holes are strung through both cover boards and paper sheets, you need to make certain that your final product is not an uneven shambles. Place some paper weights on top of your book to ensure that the pages are evenly layered.

To summarise, the Coptic book binding process can seem like a really daunting one to undergo, but as long as you are familiar with the process and tackle it step by step, you should have few problems with it. But take care to have the proper materials to hand for the best results.

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