If you or someone in your family is inclined to DIY, these step-by-step instructions make the process of binding a sefer clear and the sefarim secure.
- White binding tape
- Black or blue binding tape
- Binding string
- Large sewing needle
- Drill with 3/64” bits
A) First, separate the pages of the book from the cover. Place two strips of white binding tape (this is the strongest kind of tape) on the spine of the interior pages, one on the right and one on the left. This is to strengthen the area that will be drilled. Place two strips on the inside part of the cover as well.
B) Place a piece of blue binding tape on the top and bottom of the book cover’s spine.
C, D) Place the interior inside the cover (they are not attached at this point).
E, F) Close the book and secure closed with the clamps.
G) Rip a piece of white binding tape, the length of the sefer, in half.
H) Place the pieces of tape on the front and back cover of the sefer, along the spine as shown.
I, J) Mark the places on the edge of the spine where you will be drilling the holes. There will be five holes in total.
K) Drill using a 3/64” drill bit. (Before drilling, make sure there is something under the sefer so you don’t drill through the table.)
L) Thread your needle. Your thread should be five times the length of the sefer (four times is enough, but it’s easier to work with five times), doubled (in the same manner thread is doubled for regular sewing).
M) Open the back cover.
N, O) Thread the needle through the bottom hole, up through the pages, to the cover (it will not be going through the back cover).
P, Q) Pull the string through, leaving a length of about four inches at the bottom (in the inside back cover).
R, S, T) Continue to thread the needle through the holes, pulling the string tight as you sew. You will sew from the bottom to the top, then down from the top to the bottom.
U, V) When you reach the bottom hole on the back cover, thread the needle only through the back cover.
W) Now the two ends of the string will meet, one coming from the pages, and one coming from the back cover. Trim the extra string.
X) Tie them together in a knot multiple times.
Y, Z) Using the lighter, melt the edges of the knot so that they can’t open (the strings are plastic coated) and trim off excess string.
AA) Close the sefer and seal the edges with blue binding tape.
BB, CC, DD) Rip the edges of the tape at the bottom to tuck into the covers and spine. Rip the tape near the spine into thinner pieces so they can be tucked into the cover as shown.
EE, FF, GG) Finish with the corners…
HH) and your sefer is bound!
Note: The binding process should not be attempted by children.
Originally appeared in NShei HaSiyum