What is over sewn binding?

Oversewn binding is a form of book binding that creates a square edge bound book with a soft cover and stitched with a sewing machine for both aesthetics and durability.  There are two variants of oversewn binding. First, exposed spine oversewn books utilise a pad glued spine that is then oversewn along the spine 8mm in from the edge.  The second type is a wrapped cover oversewn bound books.  With this variant again the book is pad glued, then in this case a cover is wrapped around the book and on top of the wrapped cover the sewing is completes the look.

When to use over sewn binding?

This type of binding requires hand crafting and is used to portray a bespoke, hand crafted look.  As with all binding that involves sewing, volume will not drive the price down too much.  There is a larger setup for this type of binding that saddle sewn binding, but the setup is still significantly less than PUR or case binding.

How to use over sewn binding?

When designing an over sewn book, the designer needs to bear in mind the cover will be 8mm larger than the inner pages.  In addition, the inner pages will need at least a 5mm margin from the sewn location to ensure easy reading after sewing, however, designers can utilise full bleed through the spine and off the edge for images.  Three ways designers can add a bit of pizazz by using; a highlight colour for the pad binding on the exposed edge, a coloured thread, or tied & trimmed ends instead of loose ends.

Alternatives to over sewn binding?

Case binding is a higher end, hard cover alternative to oversewn binding, but will incur higher setup and manufacturing costs as low volumes.  Lay flat binding makes sense if the images need to be visible in a double page spread.  Finally, wiro binding and saddle stitch binding are less expensive options, but do not bring the hand made feel.