ILL3 – Japanese Sewing / Stab Binding

Japanese Sewing is a book binding technique using needle and thread.  The technique has been around for somewhat 2000 years, primarily used in China and Japan. Today, Japanese Sewing is still a popular book binding technique.

When first reading the instructions of how to do Japanese Sewing, I was confused as I had not done any bookbinding stitching before. However, after watching video tutorials and help from my tutor, I was able to proceed with the sewing. The process is rather tedious and long, as can be seen in this illustrated instruction sheet.

I experimented with a number of sewing patterns, as I wanted to explore Japanese Sewing to its fullest extent. I experimented with different sizes, the colour contrast between the thread and the paper, and of course the sewing patterns. I came up with a number of different books through experimenting, that I can fill with content at a later date.

With this technique, we had the task of creating a book with the theme of ‘What I Want for Christmas’. For my book, I wanted to create some illustrations that weren’t entirely serious, but playful to go along my style. For the front cover, I used a simple collage technique, and throughout the book I used ink and oil pastel.

Japanese Sewing was a very fun technique to learn, giving me new and exciting skills for bookbinding in the future. Japanese Sewing is definitely a process that I would come back to in the future, to create my own sketchbook or even a zine.


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