• noun a person skilled in the craft of binding books.
• noun a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers. 2 a bound set of blank sheets for writing in: an exercise book.
— ORIGIN Old English bōc, "to grant by charter"
Early bookbinding techniques involved binding manuscripts together between hard surfaces, such as wood, to protect the written material within. Techniques evolved to include stitching materials together and utilising paper, but for hundreds of years, the craft of bookbinding was often the domain of religious orders. The invention of the printing press and changes in papermaking revolutionised the industry, but the craft of bookbinding still owes much to its history.
Contemporary bookbinders use materials such as leather, paper and textiles as covers, and often combine historic practices with contemporary sensibilities.
Becoming a skilled bookbinder can take years of learning and practice, and materials can often be expensive, but a love of the craft ensures that there are still talented makers creating unique, beautiful hand bound books in Scotland.