TA DONE! – Coptic End Bands

I hate to continue leading my posts with TA DA! but when I finally figure something out I just can’t help it.

Coptic End Band


In the beginnin….7 1/2″ x 5″ – 11 signatures – 4 sheets/8 pages

Susan, our instructor for teaching the Coptic End Band technique, brought text blocks for us to keep and practice on (this was very generous).

This stitch is frustrating.  And while I eventually “got it” I didn’t like the looks of it.  So I took it apart and decided I needed the solitude of my studio (and probably a couple of days) to figure it out so  I took it home to conquer.

A couple items to note:
– The size of the thread and degree of waxing on the thread makes a difference in the appearance and workability of the Coptic End Band.  I changed from a heavily waxed linen thread to a lesser waxed and more rounded thread and it made a big difference.
– The width of the board also makes a difference.  The wider the board the better to see the stitches (good or bad).  I’m sure with experience it may not matter so much.
– This size book took 91″ of thread per end!  I ran out of my first length of the Burgundy (hence the blue on the bottom) about 2/3 the way thru the top stitching.  I had enough on hand to just finish the top, adding it via a weaver’s knot in one of the last signatures before proceeding to the back cover.
–  Being brand new to this – I discovered I really needed to concentrate – without distractions (like TV, music, most beloved husband, etc.).

I couldn’t leave well enough alone…
– I cut and rounded a strip of Balsa Wood, just long enough to fit the spine between the chain stitches and covered it with a piece of card stock.  This was glued to the center of the Japanese paper.
– The Japanese paper was glued to the covers, over the spine, beginning 1 11/16″ from the fore edge of the front cover – using PVA glue.
– I cut and shaped two pieces of 1/4″ balsa wood for the front and back covers.
– Balsa Wood is very soft and easily marred.  To circumvent any noticeable dings in the future, I used a decorative hammer to mark it up after painting the wood with black acrylic.
– The wood pieces were glued to the covers, over the Japanese papaer, matching up at the edge of the spine extending towards the fore edge about 3 3/8″.  I used Ultimate Glue.
– I drew the dragonfly with Prismacolor black pens, colored it with colored pencils and spritzed the drawing with FW shimmering acrylic ink.

Had I been as concerned with design as I had been about conquering the Coptic End Band I probably would have continued the black branches from the Japanese paper pattern over to the drawing for the dragonfly vs green vegetation – duh.

AND – in hindsight I wouldn’t have experimented with rounding the spine between the chain stitches.  It caused a little tearing in the paper where the thread comes thru.