Stitched book with a drawn-on cover of printed paper


  • Owner: Industrial Museum of Ter (Manlleu – Barcelona, Spain), Diputació de Barcelona.
  • Object: Book “Hygiene of the weaver […]”, sewn unsupported with a drawn-on cover of printed paper. The edges remain uncut, and many of the bolts are unopened.
    Original title: Higiene del tejedor, o sean medios físicos y morales para evitar las enfermedades y procurar el bienestar de los obreros ocupados en hilar y tejer el algodón (translation: “Hygiene of the weaver, i.e. physical and moral means to avoid diseases and achieve wealth of workers dedicated to weave and spin cotton”).
  • Author: Joaquim Salarich (author of the text), printed and edited by Soler Bros.
  • Date: 1858.
  • Damages: Damages on the covering wrapper, mainly on the spine area.
  • Conservation treatment: Pulling the covering wrapper, consolidating it, and mounting it back on the book attached through a hollow. The original structure lacked any hollow, causing much damage on the spine due to the brittleness of the paper. The added hollow allows now a safer handling.
  • Conservators: Rita Udina.

stitched within a drawn-on cover book

These type of books do not have a “real” binding. It consists of a book as it came out from the printer, with the signatures folded and in the right order. There used to be a light sewing without thongs, or a simple stitching with staples or cord, to keep the textblock together. The “covers” are a simple paper attached to the spine, meant to identify the book.
The editor or librarian was to bind the book with different types of bindings (inboard, paperback…) accordingly to the market demands. Alternatively the customer could buy it as it was and ask his bookbinder to bind it.
The preserved issues that have kept these features are mostly manuals or essays -such as this case- which never reached to have a proper binding, as opposite to literature or collector books. These “soft bindings” have kept this light covering, which is often too narrow, or too wide, or too short or too long from the edges. These bindings keep also the deckles and the folded signatures on the top edge, since they were waiting for a binder to trim them. 

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