Bookbinding: bradel binding

Course Dates: 21/10/21 - 11/11/21
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
The bradel binding can be traced back to the eighteenth century and although it resembles an ordinary case binding, the techniques used to construct the book make it much more durable. This structure can be adapted for use with paper, cloth and leather. Suitable for all levels.
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Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00

Course Code: VD434

Thu, day, 21 Oct - 11 Nov '21

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The bradel binding originated in the eighteenth century and is a form of case binding. What makes this different
from the standard case binding is that the boards are attached to the spine of the book before covering which allows for more precise positioning. The bradel spine is constructed around a hollow made from stiff paper and can be covered in paper,cloth or for those with more experience, leather. There is also the option to create a binding where the boards are made from a contrasting material to the spine and there will be the opportunity to spend some time creating your own paste papers for this purpose.

What will we cover?

On this course we will cover the following techniques:
- sewing up a text block on to tapes
- gluing up the spine
- trimming the book
- rounding and backing
- rolled headbands
- spine linings
- attaching boards
- making decorative cover papers
- covering in paper and cloth
- we will also look at different examples of the bradel binding.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Prepare and 'forward' (sew, glue, trim, round & back) a book block ready for case binding
- Attach boards, linings and a hollow to create a bradel binding structure
- Cover your book using appropriate materials
- Explore the history of bradel binding structure and some structural variants.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for all levels although some experience of bookbinding techniques will be helpful. The ability to use hand tools confidently, possibly some experience in sewing multi-section books and trimming, rounding and backing a book would be an advantage.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught by practical demonstrations, supported by handouts and individual tuition.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

The bindery is equipped with a range of small hand tools but do bring your own tool kit if you have one. Please also bring an apron, notebook and sharp pencil.
Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services, at 15% off.
To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

- VD410 Beginning miniature binding
- VD285 Cross-structure and criss-cross bindings
- VD316 Wooden boarded binding
- VD338 Paper marbling
- VD435 Bookbinding for beginners: simple leather binding
- VD251 Working with Leather: decorative techniques.

Royston Haward Tutor Website

Royston has more than 46 years of experience as a bookbinder, beginning his apprenticeship in 1973. He is accredited with basic and advanced City & Guilds in Craft Bookbinding, gaining a distinction at advanced level. In 1984 he joined Sangorski & Sutcliffe where he acquired a love of fine binding. Royston has been a part time Tutor at the London College of Printing and Camberwell College of Art. He has run workshops and masterclasses on basic and advanced techniques of fine binding, as well as more specialised workshops in areas such as wooden board bindings, Cosway bindings and Paring and Sharpening Techniques. Additionally, prior to his retirement in 2015, he had 25 years of experience at the British Library Conservation Centre, conserving rare books and manuscripts. Royston now works part time as a bookbinding tutor at City Lit and is a visiting tutor at the Royal Library in Windsor, as well as teaching private students.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.