Most frequently used by bookbinders today, the Headband with a Bead on the Edge features a two-color stripey band with little ‘beads’ of alternating colors that sit right on top of the paper and just underneath the headband itself.
I’ve put together a photo how-to for sewing these. Tutorials do exist on the internet for these headbands, and I found a couple eventually, but it wasn’t easy, so I ended up buying a book on the subject; one more tutorial in cyberspace might just make it that little bit easier for people who want to learn.
I have an impish tendency to dismiss traditional materials and use what I like when making something, and so I did a whole bunch of these headbands recently using the same variegated DMC Perle #5 thread that my embroidery favors, and it seems I accidentally solved the question among more orthodox bookbinders of how to use more than two colours when making headbands. It is handy to be a jack of all crafts, sometimes…the things you know from one craft can cross-pollinate the others.
I learned this technique from the book Headbands: How To Work Them, by Jane Greenfield & Jenny Hille (Oak Knoll Press, 2008), and the only thing I have changed in their method is that I start my headband out with the knot on the outside of the text block, where it won’t be seen after the covers are put on.
Equipment & Materials:
- a sharp needle large enough to take your thread
- a core of braided cord or leather. I use braided cord approximately 3mm (1/8 “) in diameter
- 2 colors of headband thread, 450-600mm (18″-24″) each (for these pictures I have used yellowy-green variegated DMC Cotton Perle #5, and white crochet thread of the same thickness.
- Clear nailpolish and/or PVA adhesive
Tie the threads together with an overhand knot. The white thread will be our tying down thread (A), and the green thread will be the winding thread (B) Thread the green winding thread (B) into the needle.
(Please note: this is completely opposite to the instructions in the “Headbands…” book, but doing it this way will keep the knot on the outside of the signature, where it will never be seen)
Open the first signature up to its centre and, from the outside, insert the needle (with green winding thread B) into the top hole you tied your kettle stitch in when you were binding the signatures together.
Pull the green thread all the way into the middle of the signature, so the knot is pulled snugly up against the back of the signature. Take the needle off the green winding thread (B) and move it to the white tying down thread (A). Now we can go back to following the instructions from the book…
Bring the needle (with the white thread) over the top the first signature, into the centre of that signature, and out at the same kettle-stitch hole we mentioned before. Pull most of the thread through, so that you have a small loop of the white tying down thread (A) formed on the first signature.
Lay your short piece of core across the top of the book, slipping one end into the loop as shown. Tighten up the loop of white tying down thread (A) so that it firmly holds the core, but not so tight that the core is pulled off. Things are not very stable at this point, so work slowly and gently.
Bring the white tying down thread A up from the back of the book and toward you, laying it across the core neatly beside the first white winding. You now have two white (A) windings on the core. We’ll be working two windings of each color over the core.
Go around the core with the green winding thread B again, forming the second winding. Use a fingernail to push the two green thread B windings, so they sit right up next to the two white thread A windings.
Bring the white tying down thread A over the top of the core. With the needle, go down into the center of the signature that is beside the previous green (B) winding, and push out of the top hole (kettle-stitch hole) to the back of the book. Pull the white tying down thread A firmly, making sure the winding lies snugly beside the previous green winding.
Continue, repeating Steps 8 to 13…
At the end of the book, make sure you finish up with the white tying down thread A…make only one winding, taking the needle down into the center of the last signature, and out the kettle stitch hole onto the back of the text block.
Remove the needle from the white tying down thread A, and put it on the green winding thread B. Take this thread down into the same signature and out the same kettle stitch hole.
- Projects ” Creations ” Headbands On Handbound Books (cutoutandkeep.net)