Bookbinding Portfolio

Girdle book

I had the pleasure and privilege of attending Karen Hanmer‘s “Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book” class during the 2015 Focus on Book Arts Conference. During the class, I created this anatomically correct model of a Medieval girdle book.

Notable features of this model include:

  • the textblock is sewn with packed sewing over raised double cords
  • the spine shape of the textblock was created by the natural swell caused by the packed sewing – no hammering was used to create the shoulders
  • the textblock was consolidated with an initial vellum patch lining between the cords, then a second slotted lining of suede was applied over the first lining
  • sewn endbands of silk over a cord core – the ends of the core are laced into the boards
  • shaped wooden boards
  • the boards are laced in via the sewing cords
  • covered in full teal suede
    • okay this part is probably not 100% historically accurate in terms of material and color, but it looks GREAT!
  • the “tail” is finished off with a Sailor’s knot collar of plain leather
  • metal bosses
  • a metal clasp I made myself!