Smythe Sewn with Soft Cover

Signatures are gathered one on top of another, then secured with thread by linked stitching on the back of the fold and through the center fold of each signature, which allows the book to open flat. Covers are flush with text pages and are affixed with glue on a perfect binding line.


Business and professional books, technical reference and other manuals.


  • Minimum size -- 3" x 3 1/2"
  • Maximum size -- 10 1/2" x 12"
  • Minimum open cover size 6 1/2" x 7"
  • Maximum thickness -- 1/8" (no printing on spine)
  • Maximum thickness -- 1 5/8" (on binder)

Perfect Bound

Signatures are gathered, one on top of another; then flexible adhesive is applied to the backbone after the folds along the spine are trimmed off. After the glue cools, the book is trimmed to its specific size. Variations include notch and lay-flat bindings.


This is the most common type of binding for trade, scholarly, business, professional, religious, reference, and text books as well as catalogs and manuals.


  • Minimum size -- 3.5" x 4 3/4"
  • Maximum size -- 10 1/2" x 14 5/8"
  • Minimum thickness -- 1/8"
  • Maximum thickness -- 2.25"

Center Sewn

Signatures are collated inside one another as for saddle stitching and are then sewn at once through the center. Reinforced tape is often applied along the spine for greater strength and durability.


Small specialty books that requires extra durability.


  • Minimum size -- 3" x 5"
  • Maximum size -- 10" x 19"
  • Minimum thickness -- 1/4"
  • Maximum thickness -- 3/8"

Hard Covered Book Binding

Lay flat perfect binding

A reinforcing strip is applied along the backbone of the cover. The book block is then secured with two applications of cold glue and a bead of pressure-sensitive hot melt about 1/8" above the back edge of the front and back covers. This results in a gap on the book's spine between the reinforced text signatures and the cover that allows the book to easily flex away from the cover when opened. Lay-flat is a newer binding style often used as an less expensive alternative for Wire-O, spiral, and plastic comb binding.


Technical reference books, manuals, directories, calendars, and cookbooks.


  • Minimum size -- 3.75" x 4 3/4"
  • Maximum size -- 12" x 14.75"
  • Minimum thickness -- 1/8" (no printing on spine)
  • Maximum thickness -- 2.5/8" (on binder)

Saddle Stitched

A booklet binding method which inserts one folded signature into another, then fastens the signatures with wires (staples) through the center fold of the gathered signatures. It may be a self covered publication (same paper stock as text ) or with a separate cover. Less expensive then adhesive binding. 


Magazines, journals, newsletter and booklets not over 3/8" thick.


  • Minimum size -- 2 3/4" x 4 1/2"
  • Maximum size -- 9 1/2" x 12 1/2"
  • Minimum lip -- 5/16"
  • Maximum lip -- 7/8"
  • Minimum thickness -- 1/4" when bound 1-up.
  • Maximum thickness -- 3/16" when bound 2-up
  • Minimum space between stitches -- 2 1/4"
    center-to-center between pairs -- 1/2"

Mechanical Bound

This is a binding method in which the book is punched with slots along the binding edge, through which either a continuous series of double wire loops (Wire-O) or a vinyl plastic sheeting die cut in the shape of a comb ( GBC) or coil is inserted.


Manuals, training materials, and specialty items such as recipe books that must lay flat.


  • Minimum size -- None
  • Maximum size -- Up to 13" on bound edge
  • Minimum thickness -- None
  • Maximum thickness -- 1.5"


Marrakech Express Inc

Book and publication printing

Copyright 1994 Marrakech Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 16, 2001