The History Of Book Binding - Right Up To The Present Day

modern book binding machine

Books are very accessible to us nowadays. In nearly every supermarket, we can pick up the newest arrival, and in specialist bookstores there is even more choice at your fingertips. There are millions of books available to purchase online with just a few clicks. Books have not always been this easy to get your hands on, though. 

There are two broad types of book binding: hand-bindery and machine bindery. Hand bindery work includes the making of fine-tooled binding; binding reference books and books of special economic or personal value, the repair of rare manuscripts and historical documents. With machine book binding, the book is finished entirely by semi-automatic or fully automatic machines. 

Did you know that, until machines had been invented to do the hard work for you, the book binding process had to be done by hand?! We have compiled some very interesting information below on the history of book binding! 

Where it all started Going back thousands of years, the first ‘books’ were thought to have been bound in India. Religious sutras were copied onto palm leaves, which were then split down the middle, dried out and rubbed with ink. Once the makeshift pages were finished, they would be numbered and bound with twine. After this, the oldest, most notable metal print book in existence is a Korean book, known as the Jikji. This was printed in 137 and is a guide for students of Buddhism. 

Printing Press 

Printing press was a jet factor in the growth of the Renaissance movement in Europe. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400’s, and the spread of ideas through this led to scientific advances, Reformation revolutions against monarchic governments, and nationalism. 


Smyth Sewing 

Today, books are predominantly printed using machinery, however, up until 1868, it was done by hand. In this famous year for the book business, David McConnell Smyth invented the first sewing machine made solely for book binding. The technique this machine uses is still used today and is known as Smyth Sewing. Smyth also invented other machines that enabled mass productions of the book. These machines can perform functions such as gluing, trimming, case-making and casing in machines. 

Perfect Binding 

Perfect binding, the art of sewing or fastening sections together by gluing them, was invented in 1895. It was not used for book binding, however, until 1931, when Albatross Books used perfect binding to make the first paperbacks. Penguin Books followed in 1935, along with Pocket Books breaking this trend into America in 1939. Perfect binding is an extremely popular choice for anything printed, especially in America. 

Modern Book Binding Machinery

If you are looking for your own book binding machine here in the present day, turn towards a company like Duplo International! Easy to use, flexible and dynamic, they allow you to increase your product offering and add value and excitement for your customers. Achieve a highly premium and long-lasting finish to books, brochures, note pads and much more. Book binding has certainly come a long way since its inception!

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