Going behind the scenes of ‘Behind the Seams’

It is not only the rich tapestry of the words and memories that we weave together that makes our Behind the Seams books so special, it is that each book is carefully hand-crafted by the mecca of the book binders. The partnership with The Wyvern Bindery sees our two companies come together with a belief that quality is of the upmost importance and that diverse culture shapes our world.

When you buy Behind the Seams you not only buy into a love of fashion and the treasuring of memories, you are also buying into and supporting an industry, that with the help of people like you, will stand the test of time. The understanding and appreciation for the longevity that bespoke craftsmanship encapsulates, not only with regards to clothing but also books, has never been more important. In a world of fast fashion and the ever growing digital age, Behind the Seams binds together two worlds that rely on excellence and loyalty to survive.

We spoke with Mark, owner of  The Wyvern Bindery since 1990, to find out why the essence of a hand bound book is extraordinary and why a beautiful book will never go out of fashion…

How did you get into the book binding industry?

I started selling books in Hay on Wye in the 70s for Richard Booth and got interested in binding. I spent year learning Craft Binding at the London College of Printing and then worked in the trade from 1987.

We set up The Wyvern Bindery in 1990 and we have been in Clerkenwell ever since.

Talk us through the process of binding our books? How long does the process take?

Once you understand the construction of a book the process is relatively simple. From folded sections the book is sewn, the boards are cut and covered, the lettering is applied and then the book is pasted into its covers. It takes as long as you have; anything from 2 hours to 2 months.

What materials and machinery are used?

We use goatskins from Nigeria, linens from Northern Ireland, cloth from Switzerland and silks from Japan. Our hands are our machines.

How is your bindery different from others?

Our materials are sourced globally, we focus on bespoke binding so everything is made for an individual customer. This is what sets us apart from most binderies.

Do you think the book industry is at risk due to digital media?

Digital media won’t really affect us as there is always someone who wants a beautifully bound book.

By Sophie Maguire

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