Laced Paper Case
with Unsupported Sewing
Karen Hanmer

Virtual Workshop
Saturday February 12, 2022
10 AM to 3 PM Eastern Standard Time (there will be breaks!)
From wherever you are, via Zoom.
(This workshop will be recorded, and video will be available to registered students for two weeks after the workshop)

For centuries paper has served as a quick, elegant, and economical covering material for books. This versatile material can create structures ranging from pocket notebooks to conservation friendly bindings to a case durable enough for a heavily-used manual.

Historically the text block for a paper case was sewn on narrow fiber or leather supports. The supports were laced into the case at the spine folds for a non-adhesive attachment. In this version, the text block is sewn unsupported. Added straps of strong, flexible handmade paper are both decorative and structural. The straps are positioned at the spine, then laced through both the case and a single-folio, hooked endsheet also of strong handmade paper. The straps lace back out of the case near the fore edge, pass around the fore edge, slip between the endsheet and the case, and exit on the inside of the endsheet. The case flexes open at two points: the folds at the spine and a second, adjacent pair of folds. The lacing pattern into the secondary spine folds ensures that the spine of the case can break away from the spine of the text block, allowing the book to open fully.

This workshop is appropriate for intermediate binders, beginners who are ready for a fast-paced workout, and anyone who wants to add more paper cases to their repertoire.


Advance registration is required for all JCBA workshops. For more details or to register, please email JCBA Director John Cutrone ( John will send you an email explaining how to pay your tuition online. It's a simple process.


This workshop has a set tuition fee of $125.


Tablet or computer with Internet connection, plus the supplies and materials listed here in this PDF document.


Karen Hanmer's artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science, and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format. Hanmer's work is included in collections ranging from The British Library and the Library of Congress to Stanford University and Graceland, and of course the Jaffe Collection. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in traditional binding skills.