Saddle-Stitch Binding: A Guide

Saddle-Stitch-BindingIf you’ve decided to take on the task of self-publishing, learning the tricks and tips of cost cutting are essential. While there are many different types of binding for printed books, the saddle stitch is the most commonly used for DIY-style publishing and is very affordable. Saddle-stitch binding is often used in items like playbills, event programs, children’s books, and magazines.

What is saddle stitch binding? Saddle-stitching involves a process where folded sheets are gathered to one inside of the other. It is often finished with a sturdier material cover and then stapled through the fold line with wire staples. The staples bind all of the pages from the outside and stay clinched between the centermost pages. Saddle-stitch binding got its name due to a combination of things. In the printing industry, stapling is referred to as “stitching” and the collated sheets are usually draped over a saddle-like apparatus during the stitching process.

Saddle-stitch assembly occurs post-printing of pages and is effective for binding books and publications of 80 pages or less. The size of the document is usually 8.5″ x 11″,  6″ x 9″, or 5.5″ x 8.5”.

Books with more pages tend to become bulky when folded and do not lie flat as easily. When working on the layout of a book, it is important to use ample blank space around the content of your pages to prevent it from getting buried in the spine or getting trimmed off.

To prepare pages, there are two main considerations before moving forward to the actual binding. The first consideration is called the creep. Creep refers to the gradual extension of the inner signatures (pages) of a book beyond the edges of the pages that surround them, resulting in inner pages having a progressively smaller trim size. The thickness of the publication will automatically cause the edges of the inner pages to gradually protrude beyond the edges of the outer ones. Shingling, a term given to the process of slightly staggering the location of the pages on the paper, is often performed to eliminate creep. The process continues on after the signatures are ready to be inserted, stitched, and are then trimmed evenly.

One of the main reasons individuals opt for saddle stitch printing is because it is very cost effective and is perfect for small or large orders. Saddle-stitch binding can be done by Publishing Xpress very quickly for a low price. For more information on the saddle-stitch binding services offered by Publishing Xpress, check out our saddle stitch binding page.