Not only because of its stability but also because of its great layflat behavior thread sewing is praised as the highest-quality bookbinding – special technical “features” enable to create books with surprising content.
In the competitions of the Stiftung Buchkunst, there are several thread-sewn books among the award-winning titles. For example, in the 2021 “Most Beautiful Books from Around the World” competition, there was recently a gold medal for the edition “Uncovering the Year 1990” (Spector Books, Leipzig), written by Jan Wenzel, Anne König, and Alexander Kluge – a booklet that is extensive at nearly 600 pages and a large-format of 240 x 330 mm, in which the differently designed, double-page text-image-montages are well presented with a solid layflat behavior.
Several thread-sewn titles landed also in top positions of the “Most Beautiful German Books” competition of 2021. An example is the edition “Überfahrt” (Spector Books, Leipzig). Its book block is cased into the case in such a way as to create a hollow spine so that it does not break. Thin cardboard laminated onto the book block with the title “Auf Abwegen” (Christoph Merian Verlag, Basel), in combination with white linen glued over it – similar to a half-woven cloth – made it into a stiff brochure with a free spine. Another edition, “Man kann keine Steine essen” (Prima Publikationen, Stuttgart), was processed as a Swiss brochure without liner, which leaves the back glued spine and the sewn thread visible.
Thread sewing is one of the processes of form-locking joining and is praised as the highest quality bookbinding due to its high stability. Apart from thin products such as gift books or poetry books (single-ply sheets folded and sewn through the spine), these are multi-layer products – folded sheets thread sewn through the joint, which obtain their high durability after back gluing, lining, and full-surface backlining of the spine.
Perfect binding is undoubtedly the strongest competitor – nevertheless, bibliophile works, atlases, illustrated books, art editions, and business reports appear today in thread sewing. Today, stability is mostly achieved with a needle and thread. With the help of modern automatic thread sewing systems, different customer requirements can be met. With the Ventura product family – Ventura MC 160, Ventura MC 200 and Ventura MC Digital – Muller Martini offers efficient machines and systems for almost every conceivable requirement. And with the VFN 700 spine nipping press, every book block is pressed in the joint area, significantly reducing spine build-up.
Users of thread sewing systems, as well as manual craftsmen, have long been able to set creative accents and trends.
- Differently colored thread sewing: Inconspicuous white thread is often used. Alternatively, however, a hardcover book with a case, headband, and a ribbon as well as edge coloring in a uniform red, for example, can also be enhanced and completed with a red color thread.
- Sewing of value-adding features: Additionally printed features such as maps in travel guides, knowledge charts in textbooks, or others – usually raise the value. This can involve inserting sheet sections in the middle of the folded sheet or sewing differently folded signatures. Smaller signatures can vary in length and width and can be positioned anywhere in the book block. In this case, Muller Martini offers the TWE¦ƎN® option on the Ventura MC 200 sewing machine. Tween sheets can vary in both length and width. Thanks to motion control technology, they are sewn exactly at any desired position.
- Open spines: If you leave out the liner while backgluing, the spine and the thread remain visible. Visible spines can be produced for books with a cover (for example as a Swiss brochure) and as booklets (for example as a stiff brochure). Today, the exposed and experimental-looking thread-sewn book blocks can be found in almost every literary genre.