Binding 101

There are often many questions about methods used to bind paper into a book or booklet.  Here is a quick reference for these questions.  Note that there are variations on all these themes…and many creative ways to use them.  Use this guide as a starting point and then add your imagination.


Saddle stitched books have staples (stitches) that hold them together.

These books can have the same cover paper as the interior sheets (self cover) or have a different cover stock (plus cover).


Perfect Bound books have a SQUARE (glued) edge that the interior pages fit into.

These usually have a thicker cover stock than the paper used for the interior sheets.


Wire-o books are often called “spiral bound” but they are NOT spiral bound at all (see below).

Wire-o books have wires that run parallel to each other and can be totally exposed (as shown), hidden or semi-hidden.


Spiral Bound books use a continuous coil of wire as a spiral.  These are common with note books, etc.


These books are known as “hard cover” books.  Too many styles to explain here…lots of options with paper, covers, dust jackets, etc.

Here is a table that will help define the “roles” of these various binding methods.

Saddle Stitch

Perfect Bound


Case Bound







8 Pages

About 1/8”

4 Pages

About 1/8”


96 pages (depends on stock)

About 1 1/2”

About 1 1/2”

About 2”


50 – ???

250 – ???

50 – ???

50 – ???

Of course, many of these variables depend on your project.  Lower quantities of Case Bound books, for instance, are availble but may be very pricey.  The best thing to do when considering any of these jobs is to simply call me and we can figure out what is best.

0 responses to “Binding 101

  1. A very good definition of perfect binding you’ve got here. It makes such a difference to the finish of a book.

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