I’ve been doing a lot of work on springback bindings in the last few months. I hope to make some videos on complete projects soon. Before I video full projects, I will do videos on some of the components that are different to letterpress binding. The first of these, which I posted this week, is on endpapers.
Endpapers suitable for springback bindings are fun to make once you are used to them. They are made by hinging 2 white folios with a strip of cloth and lining the pages that face between the folios with coloured sheets, usually marbled. The outer white leaf becomes the lever, which is inserted into the split boards, while the pages with the colours become the paste down and first free endpaper. These endpapers are often strengthened with another light cloth strip on the outside and then sewn on, sewing around the tapes.
The historical English sources which document springback bindings are Modern Bookbinding by Alex Vaughan and John Mason in either the small book called Stationery Binding, or the section in volume V of Art and Practice of Printing.
Modern articles about springbacks have been written by Richard Baker, Peter Verheyen, and Arthur Green. Peter also addresses difference in the German tradition of springbacks, of which there is significant literature. There is a small detail about adhering the marbled paper which I’m very grateful to Arthur for.
In helping me understand how to create a springback one of the most important sources of information is a video by Peter Goodwin, done in 2004. Peter apparently, with another binder, made 300 ledgers every 3 weeks for Boots Pharmacy in the UK. I have so many questions I would like to be able to ask Peter, but unfortunately, he is no longer around.
I am going to experimenting with using hide glue to make the spring, which is mentioned by Mason and Vaughan, and is part of the bookbinding folklore. I’m hoping this may address some of the issues I have with using paste and PVA.
More to come on springbacks.