Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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tape sewing

1. A method of fold sewing which utilizes strips of cloth, vellum, etc., in lieu of raised or recessed cords. In this method of sewing, the tapes rest against the backs of the gathered sections and the thread passes across but does not loop around them. The width of the tapes, which should be in proportion to the size of the book, generally ranges from 38 to 3/4 inch. In general, a larger number of narrow tapes is probably superior to a smaller number of wide tapes, as the former reduces the possibility of the thread loosening between tapes. It is recognized, however, that the problem of looseness of sewing thread can be overcome by the use of the CATCH STITCH .

The use of 3/4 inch tapes has long been the standard method employed in sewing blankbooks (stationery binding), and was also the accepted method of sewing library books (on /2 inch tapes) in the United States until superseded by OVERSEWING . Tape sewing library books is still done in Great Britain and on the Continent of Europe.

2. A method of machine sewing in which the sections of a book are sewn by the conventional edition sewing method, on a machine adapted for the use of tapes. The sewing proceeds from section to section in the usual manner of machine sewing but through tapes rather than simply through the folds of the sections. This results in sewing that is considerably stronger than the ordinary edition sewing, although, because the threads are secured to the tapes (and not around them, as in hand sewing), flexibility in the spine of the book is somewhat reduced.

3. A method of sewing single leaves in lieu of conventional oversewing or side sewing. Groups of leaves are overcast (or oversewn) to form "sections," which are then sewn to tapes in the usual manner. While this method does not enable the book to be opened any better than does oversewing, it does provide slips to help secure the boards to the text block. (161 , 264 )

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