I am working on another book. This one is a collection of Yeats’ poems and stories combined with my photographs as center spreads. It is a small intimate book that fits in the palm of the hand. I have finished the edge decoration on the top and bottom book edges and have moved on to the end bands.
Step 1: The first photo shows a simple primary end band of linen thread sewn around a folded alum-tawed leather core that is wrapped in mulberry paper. The Monastic end band is sewn over a primary end band using 2 needles. The ones shown in the photographs are gold needles and glide smoothly through the basic band threads. Each needle holds a colored thread. The colored threads are embroidered over the primary band.
Step 2: The needle with the navy color thread is passed under the primary band and around the hanging green thread to create a bead on the back of the spine and to anchor the green thread over the top of the primary band.
Step 3: The navy thread is passed through the green thread creating a herringbone braid at the top of the band.
Step 4: The navy thread is looped over the top braid and the green thread passes over the navy and under the primary band. The navy thread becomes locked into place with the green thread becoming part of the spine bead.
Step 5: The green thread passes through the looped navy thread extending the herringbone braid.
When finished, the end band creates a wonderful herringbone braided top edge. Historically, the end band was designed to protect the spine of the book. If one thinks about how a book is typically pulled from a shelf, the top of the spine is often pulled with a forefinger to tilt the book off the shelf. Over time, the stress on the spine top breaks the spine. The end band helps reinforce the top edge and give it strength.