Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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sewing in the round

A method of sewing the sections of a book on cords or tapes which utilizes a special sewing frame having a base which curves at the back, thus allowing the sections to form into a round as they are sewn to each other. Some frames of this type have a sliding block with a convex edge, against which the fore edges of the sections are placed, thus assisting in forming the round as the book is being sewn. Sewing in the round helps the sewn book to maintain its proper shape better than rounding after sewing because: 1) it does not have to be put into a rounded configuration after sewing, as it originated in the round; and 2) a book sewn with the correct amount of thread tension, and in the ordinary manner, will tend to have a concave shape to the spine when it comes off the sewing frame, which makes rounding even more difficult. Tn addition, a book rounded after sewing stands a greater chance of losing its round. The disadvantages of sewing in the round are: 1) the sewing takes longer (and is therefore more expensive); 2) a special or (adapted) sewing frame is required; and 3) several special convex blocks are needed to accommodate different thicknesses of books.

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