This is the second tutorial in my Mediaeval (Medieval) Series. It explains in detail how to sew a version of a parchment-covered book made in Estonia in 1539. It is fully illustrated with instructions, photographs and diagrams.
The sewing technique, construction and method of closure remain close to the original book that was a record of timber consumption. The book can be made up easily using modern papers and materials without going to great expense.
Also included is an old bookbinding technique showing how to make faux parchment for the cover. This give the book a mediaeval look and feel.
Although the book has been made using decorative paper, it could just as easily be made with a plain parchment cover or with any strong paper.
The size of the finished book is approximately 14 x 12.5 x 3 cm (5.5" x 5" x 1").
The design and pattern for this book is based on the 'Nag Hammadi' codices. These ancient gnostic texts were discovered in Egypt in 1945 near the small village of that name.
The author has not attempted to make an historically accurate facsimile. Instead Margaret Woods has tried to create a book with the 'flavour' of the originals. Her interest lies in adopting and adapting old binding methods to make artistic and useful contemporary books.
The original books were fairly large, about 29 x 18 cm (11.5 x 7 ins) and would have taken a whole hide of goat or sheep to make. I decided to use about half a shoulder of vegetable tanned calf skin and make my book about a quarter of the size: around 12 x 10 cm (5 x 4 ins).
This tutorial is suitable for anyone with general craft skills in measuring, cutting, sewing, etc.
The book is sewn with 'direct tacketing' which means you can undo the binding and replace the paper quite easily.
The tutorial is fully illustrated with printable templates, photographs and diagrams.
The instruction book may be printed for personal use.
Once we have marked your order as 'shipped', you will be able to download the 'How to Sew a Mediaeval Book, with Faux Parchment Cover' from our web site. You will need to log into your account by going to My Account/Order Status --> Review Orders --> Download Files. .
The file will be in PDF format - 8.32mb - 34 pages