Folded sheets for bookbinding

What if you want to bind a `real` book?

Categories: Bookbinding

Introduction

As a hobby bookbinder I’ve always found difficult to find material to bind a ‘real’ book. Here are some tips:

Blank sheets

Inkjet/laser printer papers

The easiest thing you can do is to buy some larger (A3) printer paper and fold it to size. For this, it would be great to know the grain direction. Unfortunately, that information is rarely available (except in specialized bookbinding shops).

Marker papers

It’s better to start with an even bigger size: A2. That way, you have much more possibilities for folding and keeping the proper grain direction - regardless of the paper’s original grain direction.

For a start, I can recommend an A2 Schoellershammer Reflex marker paper 75 g/m². That size is big enough to create A4/A5 folded sheets economically.

→ Schoellershammer Reflex marker paper — Modulor

Printing papers

If you are not a company, buying printing paper in full-size sheets could be a bit tricky, especially if you are not ready to buy a ton. Luckily some paper factories offer ‘sample’ services. I could only recommend Gmund Paper. Their collection is excellent. You can get samples in different sizes, from A4 to full size (1020x700mm). In addition, they provide information about grain direction. I like all their papers, but especially the Lakepaper Extra series.

→ Gmund Paper Sample Shop

Folded sheets

If you don’t want to fold the paper by yourself or can’t find a proper paper, there’s also a chance to buy some pre-folded sheets.

Kanzleipapier

You can also find pre-folded sheets. For example, in Germany, you can search for ‘gefalzt Kanzleipapier’. Office supply stores sell A4-sized empty/lined papers (A3 sheets folded in the middle) in bulk. Those papers usually have 70-80 g/m² paper-weight and lower quality.

→ Staufen Kanzleipapier A3-Bögen mittig gefalzt auf A4 80 g/qm

Music sheets

If you are looking for something high-end, you can check the ‘Star Notenschreibpapiere’. This company sells blank music sheets in all different sizes and formats. Of course, you can buy folded sheets too.

→ Star Notenschreibpapiere — Notenschreibpapiere

Star Notenschreibpapiere
Star Notenschreibpapiere

Publishers who sell books in sheets for binding

If you want to bind a ‘real’ book, here are the (super short) list of publishers who sell books in sheets for binding. Please contact me if you know any other publishers, and I’ll update this list.

Legacy Press

Legacy Press is publishing works about printing, paper, and bookbinding arts. They sell some copies of their new books in sheets. I bought the European Hand Papermaking by Timothy D. Barret back in 2018.

→ Books in Sheets for Binding — Legacy Press

Fines Mundi Verlag

They sell bookbinding related, facsimile reprints (out of copyright), printed on good quality paper, sold as sheets. The reproduction and the paper look pretty good. Search for ‘Rohbögen’ on their page.

→ Rohbögen — Fines Mundi Verlag

The printed sheets
The printing is crisp, on a really nice paper