Coptic binding


Coptic binding is created using methods used by early christians living in ancient Egypt knowns as Copts.(wikipedia,2017)

Coptic binding is made by sewing multiple groups of folded paper across the spine using a single piece of string, on the outside of each side of the paper is a piece of hard material on either side to add protection.

Coptic is the most basic of bookbinding techniques and is also the first technique most people learn, it is often taught in schools.


  • Cut the corners of the decoration diagonally to avoid any build up in the corners.
  • Cover the protective boards to decorate them how you want them to look.coptic binding-01.png
  • Cover the inside blank page with some thick paper.

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  • Punch evenly spaced holes in the boards.

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  • Use the boards as a guide to punch holes into the signatures (Groups of folded paper).
  • To start stitching, start with one board and one signature.
  • Starting with the bottom hole of the first signature, bring the thread out under the cover board to attach to the signature.

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  • Make sure everything is aligned (Alignment is key in coptic binding), then tie the knot.
  • Move up one hole and then repeat the process.
  • When you reach the last hole stack on the second signature and go through repeating the same process back through again.

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  • When going through the stitching again enter the left side and exit on the right, creating a kettle stitch, making loops through the previous signatures connecting them. (This is what gives coptic stitching it’s unique look).

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  • Once you’ve made the kettle stitch carry on through the holes, repeating the process.
  • On the last kettle stitch don’t go through the same signature add on the next signature and link it to that.
  • Repeat for as many signatures as you need.

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  • When binding the back cover on repeat the same process, except this time go through the previous signature too.
  • Then going back to how you bound the first cover repeat the process for this one, just in reverse.
  • On the last hole loop through in between the cover and the last signature, finally tying it off with a knot.

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