Coptic binding is the oldest form of a book (a “codex”) in Western culture. In its modern form, it has a hardcover and an open spine that reveals decorative binding stitching. At the end of this intermediate course, participants will take home a full-size Coptic-bound book.

Basic bookbinding skills needed (folding signatures; cover book boards).
During this class, we will make a quick model to learn the sewing pattern, and then make a finished book.

Prior to the class, participants will need to pick up book boards at the Center for the Book and bring them to the class covered in the material of their choosing.

Book Arts Workshop: Two-Needle Coptic Bookbinding

  • Instructor: Janet Eden
  • Day/Date/Time: Saturday, August 10, 2024 (9:45 AM– 4:00 PM)
  • Location: Virginia Center for the Book at the Jefferson School City Center
  • Class Size: Limited to 6 students
  • Skill level: Intermediate Level (participants have basic bookmaking skills – fold signatures, cover book boards)
  • Materials and tools: All materials provided with tools available for in-class use – Participants may wish to bring their own cutting mats, cutters, rulers with metal edges, and bone folders, but this is not necessary.
  • For information about the class: Janet Eden at
Special Instructions:
  • This will be an intermediate-level class for those who already have basic bookmaking skills (fold signatures, cover book boards).
  • Participants will be expected to bring a pair of covered boards for a book; in class, we will punch signatures, drill the covers, and sew the book.
  • Instructions for book board pick-up and covering will be sent after registration.
  • Basic bookbinding tools will be provided along with a variety of colors of binding thread and paper for signatures.
  • Note the 9:45 AM class time to allow for a prompt 10:00 AM start.
Workshop Registration and Fees
Registration fee assistance is made possible by a grant from the Josef and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation

Our COVID Policy for this workshop:

It is the Virginia Center for the Book’s expectation that all program participants be vaccinated.
Should public health guidelines change, and new norms be applicable, we reserve the right to revisit the expectations in the interest of participant health and safety.

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