With Smyth sewn binding, the thread is driven “through the fold” of a 16 page signature. As you can see in the photo at the right, these books lay flat very nicely and are used for coffee table style art and children’s books. When a press run is in higher (offset) quantity, publishers and book manufacturers look to this method as their first choice. An offset press with a 40″ width can deliver 8.5″ x 11″ size 16 page signatures. When using digital printing, Smyth Sewing will usually not be the first choice because digital presses are better for delivering single sheet collated book blocks rather than signatures. Some extra collation work is required to “nest” 4 page signatures into 16 page signatures required for smyth sewing. There are different types of smyth sewn machines – both manual, semi-automatic and fully automated. Our smyth sewn machine is semi-automatic style, which is good for short run lengths.
Smyth Sewn Binding Specifications
- 16 page signatures are required, with ¼” extra on the high side folio lip
- Book Size: Min size of 4″ x 6″ (portrait orientation) and Max size of 10.5″ x 12″ (portrait orientation)
- Max Size “drop” Landscape: 10.5″
- Do not perforate the spine edge of signatures