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“There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” the saying goes. The saying could as easily be: “There’s more than one way to bind a book.” From the hard cover books at the local library, to the spiral notebooks you used at school, to the comb-bound Junior League cookbook in the kitchen cupboard, all become books by different paths. Here are few of the major binding types and how they work.

 
Hardcover Hardcover
The Hardcover book features a hard external cover (called a “case” by the binding industry). These are usually covered with cloth, leather, or textured paper. On some books, the spine has a different covering material than the front and back panels. This is called quarter-binding and is very popular in the publishing industry.

Hardcover binding is a good choice for publishing, photobooks, yearbooks, dissertations, theses, high-end presentations, and proposals.
The Fastback Hardcover System and Photobook Production Cell are two hard cover binding solutions that Powis offers. The Fastback Hardcover System lets anyone make hard cover books quickly without expensive bindery equipment. The Photobook Production Cell is designed specifically for people who need to bind glossy paper.

Tape Binding
Tape Binding

Tape binding uses a thermoplastic adhesive on a strip to bind books. In technique, it is similar to perfect binding, where the individual pages are glued to the book spine. Tape binding is a good choice for office documents, review books, or other presentations. Powis makes a number of tape binding strips, from the sturdy Super Strip to the attractive Comp Strip to the Lx-Strip, which is used with the Fastback 9 binding machine. We also make the PhotoPro strip which is designed for use with the Photobook Production Workcell.
Perfect Binding Perfect Binding
Perfect binding is a punchless binding method that works by fastening the book block to the cover spine. It is often used for softcover books and is most familiar to people in the form of paperback books. It is also called adhesive binding, or unsewn binding. The Powis Perfectback Strips make perfect binding on an on-demand basis as easy to do as any office document binding job.
Sewn Binding Sewn Binding
Sewn binding is usually used in conjunction with hard cover binding. The book block, or sections of the book block are sewn together prior to the addition of the cover. This makes for a very sturdy book. The biggest disadvantage to sewn binding is that it requires specialized, expensive equipment, and, when done on a custom basis, is a slow process. As an alternative to sewn binding, Powis has developed StitchFree™ technology, which is capable of producing books that rival sewn and wire-stitched books in binding strength.
Wire Stitching Wire Stitching
Wire stitching is a form of binding that uses wire staples to bind sheets together. Wire stitching can either be used as side stitching, or saddle stitching. Side stitching is used for thin books that are usually then either covered with a hard cover, or a tape strip. Saddle stitching binds the sheets together through the fold in the center of several pages. It is the form of binding commonly used on comic books and magazines.
Plastic Comb Binding Plastic Comb Binding
Also called GBC binding, plastic comb binding is a punch-and-bind system that is used for many office documents. Its main advantage is that it is inexpensive and easily edited. Its disadvantage is its appearance and the security of the final book. Also, like other punch-and-bind systems, it requires more labor than tape binding.
Wire-O Binding Wire-O Binding
Wire-O is a punch-and-bind system that is similar in technique to the plastic comb binding, but resembles wire spiral binding in appearance.
  Velobinding
Velobind is a punch-and-bind system that uses a two-part binding element. First the paper is punched with a series of tiny holes. One half of the binding element consists of a plastic strip with evenly spaced plastic spikes on one side. The other half of the binding element is a plastic strip with evenly spaced holes that match the punches. The spikes are pushed through one side of the paper and then fed through the plastic strip with holes. The ends of the spikes are melted off, creating the bind. A Velobound cannot be edited without rebinding.
  Spiral Binding
Spiral binding—as its name suggests—is a punch-and-bind system that uses a plastic or metal spiral wire that is wound through punched holes on the binding edge. It is the type of binding most often used for school notebooks and steno pads.
 
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