Quill Books before print mediamediamediamediamediamedia
choosing a writing support
making quires and sheets
preparing the page
copying the text
correcting the text
decorating the book
binding the book
using the book
> Binding the Book > Limp Binding


The majority of surviving medieval bindings made use of wooden boards, which helped to protect the book and to keep the quires in place. The so-called "limp binding" is another type of binding that was in popular use in medieval times. Its most notable feature is the absence of boards, which explains its name. With a limp binding the quires are covered by a plain parchment wrapper without the support of wooden boards.
The quires in these bindings – usually a limited number – are attached to the outer parchment with thin strings, which are visible on the outside. A limp binding resulted in a lighter manuscript, which meant it was easier to transport. This type of binding also decreased the cost, given that wood was not needed and that the binding process was less time-consuming. This is likely why this type of bookbinding is so popular among medieval students.