This information is for my students who are exploring Oriental side stitching, or anyone else who is interested. Both the UNSW (COFA) students begin their Artists’ Book course with this structure and also those that do the Introduction to Bookbinding course with me here at Sydney Bookbinding, Marrickville, Sydney.
As the sewing becomes more elaborate and the thread is taken around the spine more times you will use up more thread. It is good to wax your thread if it is fairly long. We use a strong bookbinders linen thread to secure the spine and to keep the tension. Synthetic threads can stretch and thus the spine is not kept closed.
The students who began to explore this form of binding firstly did a traditional and simple form of stitching along the spine. Here are a couple of more decorative patterns.
If you want to try these I suggest you do a sample stitch along a piece of card before using it on a book. These patterns are in units and you will need to complete each unit before progressing along the spine to where the next unit is to be created. You can only progress along the spine from one of the main stitching points that occur along the main vertical line on the text side of the stitching. Work out how you can go around the spine the two or three times necessary to complete the pattern, this brings you back to a main stitching point which allows you to progress to the next main sewing point and the position for the next unit.
I hope this makes sense. Of course I love to demonstrate these patterns as it allows me to show the position of the hands while working and easy ways to keep the tension firm. Good luck and happy sewing.
Let me know if you want any other suggestions.