I made a wedding guest album with a silk cover for my brother and his wife. Doing Coptic binding simplifies everything. The cover in Coptic Binding is the same size as the pages and as it is an open-decorative spine, it is made of two separate sheets of card. (The cover is square – the photo isn’t!)
If you don’t have a title you need to show which is the front and which is the back. I did a simple embroidered combination of their initials DC which fitted nicely on the corner. I explained about the screenprinted fabric yesterday. I wanted Des’ surname Vlietstra to feature and you can see it on the bottom left.
I used 240micron grey card and cut it exactly the size of the pages plus 2mm in the width. The rule is that whatever weight of paper is glued on one side, the same should be glued to the other side to prevent it warping. First I covered the front with Somerset 100% cotton paper. It is a soft paper and it softens the edges as well as ensuring that you won’t get a grey shadow from the card (white silk needs white underwear!)
The white paper is 12mm larger all round and the corners are mitered. I glued it on using wheatstarch paste which I made. It went into the press for a day. Silk is very thin so it also needs to be wadded. I don’t like that fluffy stuff as it is too spongey, so I bought some white (synthetic) felt and cut it exactly to size without any overlaps. I glued it to the white paper using a little PVA glue here and there.
The fabric is 2cm larger all round and you begin in the centres doing long stitches to join the opposite sides. You run out of thread after about two joins, so start on the opposite sides, working your way towards the corners. It works on the same principle as stretching canvas, except you don’t use a stapler. When you get to the corners. pull the corner diagonally over the card, then tuck the two sides in and stitch so that it will be neat once it is covered. This is the way leather covers are often done. Sorry I forgot to take a photo at his stage.
Once the corners were mitered, I glued the endpaper on, so that there was only 2mm of silk visible all round on the inside. The thread left a raised texture but the choice of endpaper looked fine with this.
The signature on the back was originally done by our great-great-grandfather: Anderijs Klaases Vesstra (or Sesstra). In the family tree, he is noted as Andries Klaasen Vlietstra; but spelling was organic is those days!
PS I promise to cover the Kilian Workshop, introduce my new Ozzie friends, show Perth, reflect on urban sketching etc. But I want to do this justice and I’m hanging an exhibition tomorrow.