Adventures in Coptic Stitch

From the looks of the exterior and the immediate inside of the cover, this book may not appear to be anything extraordinarily special. Sure, the swirly fabric is fun and all, but it just doesn't seem like it would be that hard to put together...right? Wrong. CopticOut

Though there are a small number of binding stations, this technique (called coptic binding) can be difficult to master. However, once the binding is complete, this technique yields beautiful results.

CopticInside

One of the coolest things about the coptic method is that the spine is exposed and you can use essentially any flat surface (old license plates? LP jackets? flooring tile?) as covers as long as you can drill through it to create your sewing stations. For this experiment, I stuck with fabric-covered Davy boards. For the binding, I used variegated floss that coordinated with my fabric. Here's a view of the spine:

CopticSpine

In coptic binding, pages are sewn together in sections rather than individually. As you add each section, the sewing of the binding makes a braid. This shot features one braid (on the right) and also the finishing stitches, which make a chain (on the left).

CopticSpineDetail

In all, this technique is challenging but worth the effort. I'm looking forward to trying it again!