Hollander's Recommended Materials, Tools and Supplies

This page offers several recommendations for materials, tools and supplies to get you started in bookbinding.  

Primary Materials

Book Board.  We suggest starting with .090 Standard Book Board for most books and boxing making projects.

Bookcloth.  Starched Linen is a good economy book cloth for getting started.  Arrestox is a slightly heavier and more durable option. Japanese bookcloth is a more expensive, and very elegant bookcloth.

Decorative Papers. There is wide assortment of decorative papers to choose from.  We enjoy using marbled papers, Florentine prints and the Japanese Chiyogami designs.  The options are limitless, but avoid thin "tissue weight" and thicker "cover weight" papers.  Almost any "text weight" paper will work for covering books and boxes.

Adhesives. PVA is the easiest and most popular glue to use. Our Standard PVA is what we recommend to start with.  In addition, for box making especially, we recommend that you add  PVA Thick Glue as second adhesive to include. We use PVA-Thick or constructing the box tray and securely fastening the lid to the tray.

Sewing Thread. We recommend a strong medium weight thread for sewing books. Linen thread, which is known for its strength, is typically used and a good thickness for most medium size books is our 25/3 thread.

Super. This important spine reinforcement material is used to hold the text block to the case or cover of the book.

Text Paper. Text paper is the paper that is folded into signatures and comprises the text block.  An economical, but popular text paper we us is Mohawk  Text.  A higher quality, but more expensive paper we often use is Somerset Text.