Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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recessed-cord sewing

A method of sewing a book by hand which involves cutting grooves into the spine of the gathered sections and recessing the cords into those grooves. A single length of thread is carried from kettle stitch to kettle stitch, as in FLEXIBLE SEWING , but passes across the cords instead of encircling them. The sewing may be done ALL ALONG ,TWO ON , etc., as in flexible sewing.

Sewing on recessed, or sawn-in, cords is relatively old, having been used in France as long ago as 1580. It continued in use in France until about 1650, and in England, particularly for thin books bound in sheepskin, until about 1770. The technique seems to have died out after that time until revived, some fifty years later, by Nicolas Denis Derome. See: DEROME STYLE .

Recessed-cord sewing has been used extensively in craft bookbinding since the latter part of the 18th century. Although inferior to flexible sewing in soundness of technique, it has several advantages over that method in that: 1) the sewing proceeds faster, thus effecting savings in time; 2) it reduces the cost of subsequent forwarding operations in that there is no need to fill in between bands, the bands do not have to be straightened, and there is no necessity of molding the covering leather about the bands; and 3) in combination with theHOLLOW BACK , it usually allows moreTHROW UP in the spine, thus facilitating opening of the book. See also: FLEXIBLE NOT TO SHOW ;TAPE SEWING (1) . (236 , 355 )

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