How To Make A Woven Book Structure

Today’s post includes a printable pdf and instructions for assembling a book structure I have named Orihime in honour of the heroine of the Tanabata legend. I mentioned on Friday that July 7th, 2017 was the official third anniversary of this blog. For the first two anniversaries I posted star-themed DIY projects (here and here) since the blog anniversary falls on Tanabata. This year I decided to celebrate the fact that both Orihime and I are weavers. (Well, I was one for about twenty years.) I thought it would be nice to design a book structure that incorporated some kind of weaving. This is the first version.

After some careful reconfiguration I came up with the version below.

To make a model of the book for yourself, first print out the three pages of the pdf. I have used colours for the weaving strips to help clarify the assembly instructions, but colour printing is not a necessity. For those using A4 paper, do not ‘shrink to fit’ when printing. Your book will be a slightly different shape when completed. Download the pdf for the book here.

After printing you will need to cut out all the parts. The dotted lines indicating where to fold do not appear on the printed pages.

When you are cutting the coloured strips, cut off the heavy black outline.

You should have six pieces of paper that look like the image below plus five coloured strips.

The next step is to pierce a small hole at each end of every slot (the short lines inside the page areas), and then cut the slots. Piercing first helps to prevent tearing and makes it easier to cut the slots accurately. Don’t be intimidated by the number of slots! You will likely find the cutting goes faster than you expected. Here’s a detail shot after piercing and cutting.

Assembly begins with Signature #3 and Single Sheet #3 and the two yellow strips. Fold the yellow strips in half, printed side in. Fold Signature #3 printed side in. The slots should be on the fold line. Don’t worry if the fore edge of the pages doesn’t quite match up. You can trim that later.

Slide the strips through the two slots in Single Sheet #3 so that the folds rest in the slots, then slide both ends of the strips through the matching slots in Signature #3. (If the slots don’t quite match up, try reversing the top and bottom of Single Sheet #3. I found that things fit better one way than the other.) The open signature with the single sheet on the right should look like this:

When closed, it should look like this:

The strips on the left will be double.

Fold Signature #1 with printed side in and place to the left of Signature#3. Thread the top layer of each yellow strip through the matching holes.

When you open Signature #1, the inside should look like this:

Lace the yellow strips through the slots so that you have something that looks like the picture below.

Tighten the strips gently, making sure that the spines of Signature #1 and Signature #3 are aligned, then fold the front cover closed.

Flip the book over (reverse top and bottom) and repeat the steps above to attach Signature #2. Viewed from the top, your book should look like this:

Yellow pointy finger indicates outer (slotted) page of Signature #1, orange pointy finger indicates outer (slotted) page of Signature #2, green pointy finger indicates first page of Signature #3, and pink pointy finger indicates Single Sheet #3.

To attach Single Sheets #1 and #2 inside their respective signatures, begin by folding the red strip in half, coloured side out. Slide the ends of the red strip through the middle slots in Signatures #1 and #2.

Attach Single Sheet #1 inside Signature #1 by sliding the red strip through the slot and then back out the slot in the spine of Signature #1.

Weave the end of the red strip through the appropriate slots.

To attach Single Sheet #2 inside Signature #2, flip the book over (top for bottom) and repeat the steps you did for Signature #1.

The steps for the two green strips are pretty much the same as for the red strip. You just have to be careful with inserting the strip through the spine slit at the first stage. The strip needs to go between the inner surface (closer to the middle of the book) of the single sheet and the adjacent surface of the signature. The picture below —blurry though it is— shows the proper position inside Signature #1.

When you have finished weaving in the green strips, you have two choices. You can trim the ends of the strips and glue them down, or you can do a completely adhesive-free binding by tucking the ends in. The yellow strip below has been tucked under itself.

To do the tuck version, trim the end to a length slightly less than twice the space between slits. To make your tuck neater, you may want to pre-fold the strip to match the slot it goes back through. You may trim the edges of the book now, if you wish.

You have now completed the Orihime binding.

In other book arts news:

I got to do something else this week that is (sort of) book-arts-related. I am participating in a mail art round-robin. Each participant starts two postcards, then mails them (in envelopes) to the next people on their list. Each postcard will be worked on by three people in total, then mailed as a postcard to the final recipient.

Here are the two postcards I started.

I received one postcard from a participant who lives nearby. It had the ginger image collaged on it. I added the stencil designs and letters in pencil.

In knitting news:

I finished the black cotton lace thingy. I’m not sure if it is large enough to be useful for anything (a decorative neckerchief ?), but I learned a bit more about lace knitting, especially how to correct mistakes without ripping back.  ; ]

The pattern is part of a shawl design called Queen of Hearts by Filinkova Alisa.

I also finished the Old Shale (Shell) experimental shawl. (I added a collar rather than a full top border.) It blocked quite flat, which was a relief!

If you knit and are interested in playing with some variations of the Old Shale pattern, the Knitting Study Group of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild did a group project which resulted in a free e-book.

You can download it from Ravelry. The basic Old Shale lace stitch is really simple and I had fun playing with it. You might too.




About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, Design, DIY, free book, free printable, instructions, knitting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How To Make A Woven Book Structure

  1. Pingback: The Orihime Binding | CBBAG Saskatchewan

  2. Thanks, Cathryn, I’ve been looking for the instructions on this binding. As usual, your info is fantastic!


  3. Hilke says:

    Amazing how busy you’ve been! I hope I’ll find some time to try your woven structure. It strongly reminds me of a construction I was shown a couple of years ago… Will have to find it again and compare. – Maybe you’ll read about the developments on my blog soon. That is IF I can find the time, this is the one thing that always seems in short supply these days…

    The mail art project sounds fun!
    I am amazed about your knitting/lace progress. It still looks to me like something that would be easier to make with crochet. But apparenlty it is possible, and the result looks beautiful!


    • Byopia Press says:

      The Orihime binding apparently looks like something already developed by someone else. (This is the second comment that would indicate this.) I am not surprised: there are likely only a few ways to use paper strips to hold pages together, so my design may recapitulate something already out there. I haven’t seen one quite like this, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. ; ] Please let me know if you find the one you remember!

      I used to crochet, and have even made lace that way —mostly filet lace. The knitted lace was slower to learn at the beginning (though that could just be that my brain is older than when I taught myself to crochet!) but is faster to make once you get better at it. I also find it puts less strain on my hands (I knit very loosely) so I can do it for a whole evening with no repercussions —no soreness or stiffness the next morning.

      The mail art is fun. I have already worked on another postcard which I will show next Sunday.


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