Binding — the last strong link

Binding is the last link in the chain of operations for converting paperboard into attractive and functional covers for brochures, annual reports, manuals, books and magazines. This link must be as strong as all the others, so it is important to select your paperboard to suit the binding method you are using.

Binding methods

When using paperboard for covers, the most common binding methods are saddle stitching, wire-O binding, glue binding, thread binding and fadensiegel binding.

Saddle stitching

Saddle stitching is normally used for brochures, annual reports, magazines and booklets. The binding operation consists of creasing, folding and stitching. The folds must not crack as a result of the creasing and folding operations nor during subsequent use. This is particularly important if there is printing over the folds. Saddle-stitched productions put a lot of strain on that small piece of paperboard that holds the cover to the insert by the staple. If you choose a paperboard made from virgin fibres, you minimise the risk of the cover becoming detached from the insert with use over time.

Saddle stitching puts a lot of strain on that
small piece of paperboard that holds the
cover to the insert by the staple.

There are a number of exciting alternatives
to saddle stiching. As well as protecting
printed materials, binding can also help
them stand out from the crowd.


Wire-O binding

For the same reason, it is equally important to use virgin fibre paperboard with wire-O binding, which is often used for booklets and manuals. One practical advantage of this type of binding is that the printed insert can lay flat when required. However, if the paperboard is too weak the cover can rip and fall off after intensive usage.

Wire-O binding can be combined with this type of cover, for instance when you want to be able to easily identify a manual on a bookshelf


Glue binding

Glue binding adheres better to the reverse
side if the paperboard does not have the
same finishing on both sides. Extra
creases on the front and back prevent
ugly wrinkles.

Glue binding is often used for booklets and paperbacks. Book covers need to be especially stable and durable. Depending on the thickness of the insert, creasing and folding can be carried out in various ways to improve both the function and the appearance of the cover.

To achieve an attractive cover with distinct fold lines, you require a strong and sturdy paperboard with a smooth surface. However, to achieve a durable bond, the reverse side should be uncoated or the glue will not adhere easily. If the surface of the cover needs to be smooth and glossy on both sides, special precautions are required. UV varnish must not be used.

Thread stitching

Thread stitching is the classic high-quality binding method. The sheets of the insert are stitched together in bundles with a linen thread. After folding, the block of bundles is glued directly to the back of the cover. When this binding method is used for paperbacks, it provides stability, durability and a high-quality appearance.

Thread sealing

Thread sealing could be regarded as a combination of thread binding and glue binding. It resembles thread binding but is less expensive. It gives extra stability, durability and a high-quality appearance to the covers of printed materials such as large textbooks. The sheets are stitched together with a special plastic thread. After folding, the threads are melted and the insert block is glued directly to the back of the cover.

Key paperboard features

The paperboard features required for achieving successful binding are strength and resilience, consistency in flatness and stability, and good cutting, creasing, folding and gluing properties.

There are various ways to crease and fold
book covers

An example of thread stiching.


Multi-step processing

The production of almost any graphic product is carried out in more than one operation. The simplest production involves only printing, sometimes with the addition of creasing and folding. However, there are products that are more complex and demanding than others. In many cases these products can incorporate almost all finishing processes.


To achieve perfect register in multi-step processing you need a paperboard with extremely good dimensional stability and precise sheet squareness.

Get inspired

This is Inspire, the customer magazine of Iggesund Paperboard. Needless to say, the covers are produced on paperboard in order to illustrate what can be achieved with different combinations of printing and finishing techniques. Please visit and find out how the covers are printed and finished.












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825 80 Iggesund

+46 650 - 280 00

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