Fabric Covered Books
One of the things that really excites me the most is abandoning myself to rummaging through vast piles of fabric, my arms wildly windmilling, fabric fibres billowing around me, in the search for the illusive piece of fabric or combination of cloth that will be perfect for a book cover. Fabric has an amazing ability to hold history and a persons essence and imbue it with a level of meaning that bookbinding papers can’t always achieve. It can make a book into an object that also serves as a memorial, a keepsake or a reminder. It has the added (and possibly the more important) quality that it makes a book into a fabulously tactile object to boot.
My most recent collection of fabric covered books have been made using Fabriano Artistic watercolour paper and Fabriano Pastel Paper. These make really luxurious Artists Books, especially when bound in a beautifully patterned Liberty Fabric, cushioned with padding.
Non fabricated Fabulous Fabric Facts
Countless fabric metaphors and sayings show how integrated fabric is in our society.
We speak of the fabric of society, are advised that a stitch in time saves nine, we may become unravelled at the seams, hanging by a thread or are accused of spinning a yarn. There are hundreds of cloth and textile related sayings that we use every day with out even thinking.
A few silvery moons ago I made a series of small books where I experimented with printing on the fabrics before using them to cover the book. Using old family photographs and archival images printed onto fabric can really make a lovely way of personalising a book or journal for its' new and devoted owner.
To have and to hold..
Most fabric bound books I make tend to be case bound books as they seem to lend themselves well and the finished books feels substantial and fit for fondling, although other methods of book construction could be used. I also tend to use a thin to medium wadding underneath the fabric to emphasise the tactile quality. Sometimes you have to actually pick up and touch an item for it to become yours.
We do of course live in a digital age but I believe there is a place for both digital book formats and traditional paper objects of loveliness, however I do believe very strongly that there is an inherent importance in being able to physically engage with an object and this is part of the attraction I have for making books.