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Archive for January 2012

ASAnoHaToji.jpgFor Christmas past I got a copy of Keith Smith's Volume III Exposed Bindings and a serious cold. In said book is a Yamato Toji (大和綴じ - Japanese binding) binding which Smith calls, I believe, a Butterfly binding.

Now, I'm not much of a fan of Japanese stab bindings (especially Yotsume Toji - 四つ目綴じ - four-hole binding) because of the way they inhibit the opening of a book. Some people put a hinge on the spine to ease the opening but that just means they've found a workaround for the binding. The best way to use a 四つ目綴じ binding is to use thin paper and a thin cover. Many 四つ目綴じ books are Buddhist prayer books and they have extremely thin paper.

But the 大和綴じ (Yamato Toji) is different. It is elegant, smooth, a four-needle job, and looks like a Coptic binding's little brother. Using the four needles (for four holes, six needles for six holes) you climb up from the bottom to the top while crisscrossing between pairs of holes. It is quick, elegant, and the book opens wide; especially important if you're binding a sketch book.

The picture above is of Asa No Ha Toji (麻の葉綴じ - Hemp Binding)  - from Billie's Craft Room - which I feel is more beautiful than the straight Four-Hole Binding (Yotsume Toji - 四つ目綴じ) but still doesn't allow the book to open flat - at least not as flat as either the Yamato Toji or a Coptic binding.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because first, I made two 大和綴じ (Yamato Toji) books while recovering from my bad cold and second, I have the content for a 麻の葉綴じ (Asa No Ha Toji) binding coming up soon. Photos of the two 大和綴じ books will be coming soon. As soon as the 麻の葉綴じ is finished, photos of it will be up, too.

Just a word on the words. Four is Yotsu (四つ); technically,  四つ目 means 'the fourth' or something similar. Yamato (大和) is an older word for Japan. Asa no ha (麻の葉) means hemp leaf. Toji (綴じ) is binding. Therefore, 大和綴じ is, I suspect, Japanese binding, 四つ目綴じ is Fourth Binding while 麻の葉綴じ is Hemp Leaf Binding.


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