When it comes to book printing and the binding process, there are many choices all with their own select advantages and price points. What if you have a book that requires nothing but the highest quality binding, such as a textbook, or an important piece of intellectual property? The absolute cornerstone of library quality books is a technique called “smyth sewn” binding, also known as section sewn. Smyth sewn book binding provides a numbers of benefits, and also looks very elegant and high quality. But what is smyth sewn binding, and what makes it stand out amongst all the other options?
So, what exactly is smyth sewn binding? The process starts by gathering pages into individual groups rather than just laying every page down together. These groups are called “signatures”, and each group of signatures are dealt with individually, stitched together with a thread after the pages are folded together. Once each signature is made, they are then sewn fully together, turning them into a complete book. The book is then perfectly bound in a way that prevents each page from falling out individually, and is then finished with a variety of different cover options. This technique is most definitely a professional service, and is the best custom book option available.
You will often see textbooks, legal documents, and intellectual property with a smyth sewn binding style. This is because with smyth sewn, due to the pages being grouped and sewn together, you cannot rip out an individual page without damaging or removing an entire section of pages. This proves useful for keeping all important legal documents intact, as well as textbook pages, and intellectual property. It is also the highest quality binding option, due to the sewn in pages which prevents them from falling out over time, and the protective cover that acts as a finishing touch of defense. With this style it is also easy to lay the book open flat to read, again emphasizing its use for textbooks or a piece of literature you would be using for long periods of time.
Another important aspect of smyth sewn binding is its ability to use a multitude of cover options. Since everything is being sewn together, you can technically use anything from a traditional hardcover, to plastics, wood, cardboard, etc. This allows for more creativity and can allow for a nice unique touch to your book. As noted before the pages are also able to lay completely flat, which is great if you want to add an entire image spanning across two pages within the publication.
Overall, it is plain to see the value in a smyth sewn bound book. When looking into custom book printing, whether you are a publishing company or trying to self-publish your book, there are many options to choose from. Always try to imagine what your book will be used for, and by whom. Smyth sewn will provide the utmost quality, and can add years of life to your book, as well as protect the contents within. Using Sure Print and Design’s online price calculator will give you a good idea of the cost that will go into smyth sewing your own book, as each project is different from the last.
Written by Emilia Vieni. Submitted Feburary 24 2021.