binding methods: ways to bind your document

At carbon colour we offer a comprehensive range of ways to bind your document – whatever their size

ring binders – collated and drilled sets

Suitable for insertion to PVC or paper over board ring binders which are available with a wide range of different mechanisms to choose from. Mechanisms can be powder coated in almost any corporate colour, including the rivets which are used to attach the mechanism to the binder. We can pre-print spines and covers before either personalising them, or just laminate them into place. Alternatively we can source silk screened PVC bespoke binders in almost any shape, size or configuration.

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burst binding

A method of unsewn adhesive binding widely used on paperbacks. The back fold is burst through (nicked) in short lengths during folding so that the glue can reach each leaf as well as section without having to remove the usual 3mm as in perfect binding, unless PUR glue is utilised. Due to the fact that each leaf and section is adhered with the glue, burst binding is considered to be a more robust form of binding than perfect binding.

case binding

To bind using glue to hold signatures together into a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather to form a hardbound book. Case bound books are available in both round and square back formats. Printed sheets will be folded into page signatures then collated and sewn by machine, the edges are then trimmed to form a book block. Endpapers are then attached to the first and last sections of the book block. The use of PUR glue will remove the need to sew in most instances. The back edge of the book block is then coated with glue and a strip of gauze glued to the spine. This is then placed within the case (cover) on a casing-in machine which pastes the end papers to the case and fits the cover. Also called cloth edition, hard bind or hard cover.Binding-1


loose leaf

Single sheets of paper or board bound together in a ring or similar device, which allows for easy removal or addition of pages as well as the easy addition of tabs and throw out pages.

perfect binding / PUR

An adhesive form of binding with high level of adhesion – offered in house at carbon colour. If sections are folded they will have a part of their spine cut off with the back edge roughened, glue will then be applied and the cover attached. As our perfect binding works with loose sheets, it is the ideal method for binding professionally, quickly and robustly, especially when lots of pages are involved.. Perfect binding does not offer the same longevity which a burst bound book might offer, unless PUR glue has been used. Our default glue is PUR as it will create a bound book of similar robustness to that of a sewn book.

tab collated

Usually a complex document needs some sort of separators to aid navigation between sections or to help a user find their way around a complex training manual. We can help, design, adapt or manufacture anything from the plainest un-printed square cut separator to complex die cut laminated versions. Collating into the binder after drilling is sometimes preferred, whilst some client like shrink wrapped sets to be delivered ready for the user to clip them into place.Binding-3

spiral or coil bind

A type of binding that uses a spiral of continuous plastic looped through punched holes, usually in the documents left margin. The spirals tend to be plastic and come in a wide range of colours to order, and we use them especially when documents need to be waterproof or suitable for use in clinical environments.  The coils are slightly lighter than the metal wire-o alternative.

yellow spiral coil

saddle stitched or stapled

How most booklets are bound. A form of binding that uses staple shaped wires through the middle fold of collated sheets. In saddle stitched work the printed sections are inserted one inside the other on a saddle before stapling along the back fold.  Although dependent on the stock weight, this method is best suited to books with fewer than 48 pages.

perfect mirror

wire binding

A metal preformed binding, which is clamped through a series of punched holes on the binding edge. Our standard default colour is white, but we carry a huge choice. Wire binding offers a variety of cover options, the most common are:

  • Standard Binding – this is the usual binding you generally see.
  • Full Canadian – partially hidden wire is exposed on front and back cover.
  • Half Canadian – wire is exposed on the back cover
  • Tent Card  – a free standing triangular cover which allows the finished item to be used as a free standing presenter
  • Paste-bound where a wrap around cover contains the wired document, giving a printable spine
  • Cased In – Standard wire-o pasted into a hard case with all the advantages of opening flat
  • Expanded Binding – with an expandable inside cover that folds outent
  • Butterfly binding – an ingenious way to create thicker pages, by printing on one side and then folding the page back before binding to the wire

the advantages of wire binding are:

  • Pages turn easily.
  • Good selection of available coloured wires.
  • Sheets will also stay flat whenever the book is opened.
  • Back to back opening without ever damaging the spine.
  • Secure retention of pages.
  • Different materials and thickness can be combined anywhere in the book.
  • Easy removal or replacement of sheets.
  • Virtually no size restrictions.

steel spine binding

One of our fastest and strongest methods of binding together book blocks which need to remain solid and reliably bound together. The steel edging can be camouflaged inside outer wraps or bound on spine covers.

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sewn with drawn on cover

A more traditional form of book binding that provides extra robustness which is often required.

A paper or creased board book cover of up to about 400gsm can be attached to a sewn book block by gluing the spine and then trimmed to final size. In producing the sewn book block, after gathering of signatures, the sewing machine inserts threads through the spine of each section and then uses further thread to join the sections to each other to form the book block. Sewn books will generally tend to lie flatter when opened as opposed to a burst, perfect or saddle bound book, and generally speaking would have increased longevity as the binding is protected by the outer cover.  Decorative headbands can be included, a range of hard or soft fabrics used to wrap the cases and spines can be decorated with foil blocking or enclosed with a dust jacket.headband 2

pur glueing

This very efficient glueing method of binding will give you similar results to that of a conventional perfect bound booklet combined with section sewing.  Flexible and resilient this relative newcomer uses PUR glue which gives high tack and adhesion, it is very popular with long run catalogue publishers who want their high page count products to have extended shelf life and so is ideally suited to documents with a high page count.  We have PUR binding in-house and because we specialise in short run we know how to deal with small quantities easily – find more details here


advice on ways to bind your document:

Give us a call on 01235 438938  to discuss which method is most suitable for your book or booklet.

Or request a sample here…