Single headband


THE headband is an ornamental appendage, formed in thread and silk of various colours, which is placed at the back of a book at the head and tail. Besides its ornamental appearance, it serves to support that part of the cover projecting above the back of the book in consequence of the square of the boards. This part of the leather is upheld level with the square of the board by the headband, which gives a much more finished appearance to a volume. Thus it will be seen that the headband must equal in size the amount allowed for the square of a board.

For common work, the headband used to be made of paper well rolled between two boards and slightly pasted to hold the paper firm; but for extra work, and for volumes requiring greater durability, it is made of thin board and parchment pasted together and cut into strips of the breadth required. These flat headbands produce a much better effect than round ones. There are two kinds of headbands, viz., single and double. For ordinary work, cloth pasted round cord or common thread is used; for extra, silk, and even gold and silver thread. If the volume is small, it is placed, with the boards closed and drawn down even with the edges, between the knees; or, if larger, placed at the end of the laying-press, with the fore edge projecting towards the body of the workman.

Single Headband.

Take two lengths of thread or silk, of different colours, threading one in a long needle, and tying the ends of the two together. Supposing red and white to have been taken, and the white is attached to the needle, it is placed in the volume five or six leaves from the left side, and forced out on the back immediately under the kettle-stitch of the sewing, and the thread drawn until it is stopped by the knot, which will be hidden in the sheet. The needle is then passed a second time J1 – —– -1— if i ]1ie prepared band under the curl thus made, the thread is drawn tight so as to hold it firm. Before placing the band, it must be bent with the fingers to the curve of the back of the book. The rec now taken with i:he right hand, and brought from the left. t.o the right, crossed above the white thread, passed u^v^ »^ K,^*^, and brought round to the front again, and fastened by the white thread being passed over it in the same way. Take care that the bead formed by these crossings touches the rj~ -* x1–volume. In thus alternately repeating the operatic: the tied threads and passing each time under the band, which is thereby covered, you must occasionally fasten it to the book inserting the needle as before directed once in as many places as the thickness of the book may require, and giving it a doi tack on the right side on completing the band, fastening it 011 the back with a, knot. These fastenings give firmness to the headband, and keep it to the exact curve of the back. The two projecting sides of the bands must be cut off near the silk, giving the band a slight inclination upwards to prevent the worl slipping off before covering.

Double Headband.

This headband is made of silk of various colours, and differs from the single both in being composed of two bands, a large one and a small one, and in the manner of passing the silk. It is commenced in the same way as the sii but when the bands are fastened, the smaller above the laro the red silk is taken with the right hand and passed above the white, under the bottom or larger band, brought out under the upper or small one, carried over it, brought out again over the large band, and the bead formed as before directed near the edge of the book. The white silk is then passed in the same way, and so on alternately till the whole is completed. If the amateur be desirous of accomplishing the foregoing well, he is earnestly advised to take an old book with a worked headband, and, by dissecting it, observe the manner in which it has been worked. The binder of the present day, however, rarely works his own headbands, unless it is for some particularly important job. He can purchase of the material dealei headbands very perfectly worked by machinery, in either silk or cotton, on a slip of fine canvas. These need simply to be cut off to the breadth of the book and glued on the back at the head and tail, when their appearance is as good as that of the worked headband.


Registers are narrow ribbons affixed to a book to enable the reader to keep his place. When they are very narrow it may suffice simply to place them in the book when the binding is completed; but broad ribbons, as for Church Services, Bibles, &c., should have one end glued to the back at the head before the headbands are fixed. Some broad registers have gold fringe at the bottom. Registers are usually deep blue in colour. The loose ends should be turned back in the leaves to protect them while the binding is progressing.