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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

At the binders

Following on the progress of the book...documenting how a high end book is being made in Singapore. The printers finished their work, and the pages, each signature, comprising of 8 pages, when folded will provide the 8 faces in correct order. The pages arrive at the binders like this...

These pages are loaded in a folding machine...

and the output is the folded pages...

The master operator checks the folds, to ensure proper alignment. Some pages have a full double page spread, and alignment of left and right pages are critical to ensure that the photographs are displayed properly.

Each signature is a set of 8 pages. But for the book to be stronger, as this is a very large book, the binders are putting two sets of signatures together to form one super-signature set. This collating is done by hand.

And when finished, each set contains two signatures which are then sewn together. The collated sets look like this:

And will be sewn in a large, hand operated sewing machine like this one:

After sewing together, the signatures look like this...for a book this size, 12 sets of stitches are required. And each signature superset is also sewn together, so the entire book is held together at the spine:

When I was there, they were still folding and collating my project, so I did not see the actual sewing. Another book, a smaller one was being produced, and this is the sewing machine used:

For smaller books, the signatures are stapled together like the case above, and the machine is totally automated. The stapled signatures are passed along the slide shown foreground over to the stitching machine towards the background so the signatures are sewn together to form the book. For the "Pour le Merite" Collection, this entire process is done with stitching, and by hand using the large sewing machine.

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