Dressing spine

After the book block is sewn and rounded with shoulders shaped to fit covers the spine are needs to be completed by

adding headbands, mull skirt and final covering strip of paper (cartridge or kraft).

finger helt firmly to securely glue headband with decoratice piece over the spine area                     

Mull skirt measured to sit between headbands and to overlap spine – generally about 30cm each side. Referred to as the mull skirt.


A final strip of paper (generally cartridge or Kraft) is carefully measured to be the exact width of the spine by using the paper guide. this paper strip is carefully glued all along toe spine. Glued added to the mull area. Here we poke the brush well into the mull so that the glue is in it as well as along it. Glue is also added to the headbands allowing the paper strip to adhere securely all along the spine.


The paper strip is trimmed carefully at an angle so that it is a little below the headband. The excess headband is then carefully trimmed back to flush against the spine.

Final step is to trim the mull skirt at a 45 degree angle. this prevents the mull from fraying when glued to the covers.

When all this is done boards are repositioned up to the shoulders to support them and the book left under light weights to dry.


The next step is to prepare new covers or the original covers and the book cloth to crate the new spin piece or the full book. If original covers are to be used they are prepared by trimming back the old cloth at the spine and lifting the cloth at this area in order to slot in the new spine strip.

A full explanation and appropriate images will be added in the next blog posting.

Date: 25 Oct 2021

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