Is it a Crossed Structure Binding?

Yesterday morning I was just going to find a good way to use this patent leather for books. I thought that this would go best with small notebooks (these two are somewhere between A8 and A7). But when I started to prepare the covers I thought it might be fun to sew the book block on “tapes” that are strips of the covering material, and then I would weave the remaining material into it. That would also make its surface a little more interesting. I had been thinking for a while of combining the technique of sewing on tapes with a limp leather binding, so that, although I had and have a different method for this in mind, seemed like a natural thing to try.


Once I made the sketches, I figured it would look good with two colors of leather, too. So I prepared another cover.

And on the two-colored cover I tried a different type of sewing, too: Since the book’s cover was checkered, I thought it would be fun to have two colors of sewing thread on the strips.

While sewing I realized that this might be close to something I had quickly seen, but not really read before. I had to conduct a google search to find it. Take a look at the crossed structure binding by Carmencho Arregui (you will find instructions on her website linked under her name).

While looking for other examples, I realized that I had even starred some of the photos on Flickr already, proof of my previous interest in the structure. So that I cannot claim to have found this independently. But it felt like it, and I am a bit disappointed to find out that someone holds workshops for this. It felt so natural to do.

Carmencho herself does really interesting things with this structure, though, truely amazing! Not such ordinary and boring  things like two-colored limp bindings. So that I can see why people would want to learn what she is doing there.

A quick glance at her instructions seem to show that this is indeed her crossed structure binding. Though at least the two-colored binding is different from hers. Or only combining two methods. I think it will look better when I have more signatures. I’ll have to experiment a little more.

And I’ll have to read her instructions more closely to find out whether what I am doing here really is a crossed structure binding.

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5 Responses to Is it a Crossed Structure Binding?

  1. Billie says:

    Hi Hilke

    Love these little books. I like working to small sizes to experiment too. Although in this case, they most have been tricky to create at the small scale, with the weaving. You did an excellent job though and the finished results are very elegant.

    It is so difficult to create something totally origninal isn’t it and as you say, dissapointing when you research a subject, only to find that someone else has been doing it. I find that a lot with ink techniques too.

    Wonderful work though, very well done

    Best wishes

    Billie :)

  2. Lillian says:

    Well, I guess great minds think alike! Very interesting binding, thanks for showing it to us. I love the way you experiment and figure out new stuff!

  3. I would certainly not call these “ordinary and boring.” Well done. The two thread colors are a nice touch too.

    But I do agree it’s a bit of a drag when you think you’ve invented something neat and new, only to discover it’s been done. I don’t think any creative endeavor is truly new. It all builds on something that already exists. It’s what you add to it and how you interpret it that makes it artful. And these are very much artful.

  4. pzillig says:

    @ Is it a Crossed Structure Binding?
    Hilke, hi, diese Frage solltest du der Carmencho Arregui stellen. Warum eigentlich nicht? Wie ich sie aus der Ferne einschätze, weiss sie die Weiterentwicklung (!) ihrer Arbeit zu schätzen.

  5. buechertiger says:

    Thanks for all the sympathetic comments, and the tips. – I do feel much better about it now :-)
    I’ll definitely have to read the original instructions and investigate this further.