Covers are made separately and may consist of rigid boards that can be covered with printed sheet or cloth so that the covering material surrounds the outside edges of the board. The covers always extend beyond the edges of the text page. End sheets are glued and attached on the inside covers to the text signatures. In some book designs these can also be printed. Case binding is more expensive than soft cover, but has greater longevity and higher perceived value.

Case making Specifications:
Minimum overall cloth size - 4 1/2" x 7 1/2"
Maximum overall cloth size - 23 1/4" x 16 1/2"
Minimum size backspace board width - 3/16"
Round (except adhesive bound or books under 1/4" thickness) or square back.

Smythe Sewn

After the signatures are folded they get secured by linked stitching on the back of the fold and up through the center fold of each signature, allowing the book to open flat -- this has been the ultimate solution for longevity and durability for fastening pages in a book.


Upscale editions of trade, scholarly, business, professional, religious, reference and text books.


  • Minimum size -- 3" x 3 1/2"
  • Maximum size -- 10-1/2" x 12"
  • Minimum thickness -- 3/8"
  • Maximum thickness -- 2-3/4"
  • Manufacturing approval required
    for thickness over 2-3/4" or text
    basis weights under 35# or over 80#

Center Sewn

This is similar to Smythe sewing except that the signatures are collated inside one another and are sewn at once through the center, making this binding strong and lay-flat but more economical than smythe sewing.  Best for books of 96 pages or less. Reinforced tape is often applied along the spine for greater strength and durability.


Juvenile books, composition or record books, bank books and specialty books.


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

Side Sewn

Here the signatures are gathered, one on top of another, and then sewn from the side; this is actually a stronger process than center sewing.

Primary Application:

Mostly for various library editions of juvenile books.


  • Minimum size -- 3" x 5"
  • Maximum size -- 10" x 10"
  • Minimum thickness -- None
  • Maximum thickness -- 3/16"
Marrakech Express Inc

Book and publication printing

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