Wednesday, February 6, 2013

quarter binding how to!

Quarter bindings are an easy way to make a book cover pop visually because you can use contrasting colors and it gives it a sort of visual texture. Once you get  the hang of it they are a no brainer. I also have gotten into using marbled papers as the larger portion of the cover as opposed to using them as endsheets because you can conserve expensive paper and also you don't have to wait for endsheets to dry in the press overnight. 

To start simple get your case ready to build as you normally would, but when you cut the fabric cut a piece for the spine that covers about half the book cover. Glue it on like you normally would. It doesn't matter if the fabric on either side if exactly even because you will trim it back. Once you have the spine and boards attached and you've put the text block inside and made sure it's actually going to fit, you're ready to add the paper or fabric to fill in the rest of the cover. So, using a pair of dividers or even just a ruler, measure about 1/4 of the book into the cover, mark it, and cut on both sides. What you should be left with is a perfectly straight fabric strip holding the case together at  the spine. It should cover about 1/4 of the book cover, hence the name quarter binding. Because it takes the most pressure on the case, I wouldn't recommend using paper for the spine unless it was pretty strong. Now smooth out the board that has had fabric pulled off of it using a bone folder. Find a piece of paper that, when aligned next to the fabric spine, comes out flush. Test that when you put your cover fabric or paper against it the area feels flush to the touch. Take a ruler and measure/score just a hair onto the already glued fabric (in this case the yellow). Glue the bulk of the cover board, leaving about an inch nearest the yellow fabric not glued. Now, glue the edge of the marbled paper that will jut up against the yellow. Carefully line up the marbled paper so it just barely covers the mark you've scored, essentially covering the yellow fabric by not even an 1/8 of an inch. Once that edge is lined up, slowly lower the rest of the paper, being careful to push from left to right (spine to foredge) so any glue goes in the direction of the foredge and not onto your exposed cover. Be careful when you line the papers up to leave enough paper (about 3/4-1 inch) on the 3 remaining sides so you can turn it in. It's easy to get so concentrated on lining things up with the spine that you end up with most of the paper on one side, etc, which can be a pain later when you turn in. Also when bone folding hold the folder flat against the paper, not tilted, because that will press glue out onto the cover. Turn in the top and bottom first and the foredge last and repeat on the other side. Voila! 1/4 binding. It can even be an interesting touch to use different colored fabric/paper on both sides of the book. 

*If it is easier you can line the two fabrics or fabric and paper up without any overlap but I find that the slight overlap can still be perfectly flush and leaves less room for error, aka slivers of board to show through. 

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