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Perfect (Softcover) Binding

Perfect Binding, commonly referred to as softcover binding, results in a book with a glued binding and a squared-off spine.

Smyth Sewing

In PrintNinja’s perfect binding process, the collated signatures of the book block are sewn together using the smyth sewing technique. Smyth sewing uses thread to first sew through the folds of each signature and then sew the entire group of signatures (book block) together, resulting in a durable binding that can be opened relatively wide.

Note: traditional perfect binding involves cutting the signatures off at the fold instead of sewing them, resulting in a much less durable binding, with much more content lost in the gutter between pages

Gluing

Smyth Sewn Signatures Being Glued Softcover Perfect Bound

Next, a tech will place the sewn book block into a clamp that tightly holds the body together while it moves through the binding process. First, glue is applied to the spine and run through a heating process, after which the cover is wrapped around the book block.

Trimming

Finally, the bound books are trimmed down to size using a special cutting machine that trims all 3 edges in the same process.

Watch a short clip of softcover books being trimmed