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

Packing it up

All that was left when the book was copied, corrected and decorated, was to bind the quires together. If a book was made commercially, the client would bring the complete quires to a binder and go over the options. At the lower end of the scale are so-called limp bindings. Such bindings consist of a stiff parchment sheet wrapped around the quires and then attached them with stitches. They were very popular among students because of their low costs.
At the other end of the scale were richly decorated bindings with wooden boards and blind-tooled decoration. The motifs used in the decoration can sometimes help us to relate a binding to a certain atelier or city. Some even tell us who the binder was. "Godefridus me fecit." says a binding produced by Godefridus de Block, a fourteenth-century binder in Brussels. Very rare are so-called "treasure bindings", which covered books, that needed to look handsome and rich, such as gifts or a Gospel Book used for altar display.