Sewing Spiral-Bound Items into Pamphlet Binders

We recently attended a webinar on the binding, preservation, and care of music scores held jointly by the ALA/Core Preservation Administrators Interest Group and the Music Library Association Preservation Committee. Yes, we talked for over an hour about binding scores, and it was amazing!

If you are interested in viewing the recording, you can access it through the University of Maryland digital repository. During the presentation, we mentioned that we routinely sew spiral-bound items into Archival Products Spine Wrap (TM) pamphlet binders.

People asked if we had instructions, which of course has been on my to-do list for a while. So I created this short video demonstrating how we sew these. There is no narration, only ambient noise. Some day I will write up the instructions, but until then, hopefully you can use this video and the quick explanation below to see our method. Once you do three or four, you get the hang of it and it goes really quickly. At the 05:40 mark you can see the “shake test.” These are firmly attached as long as your sewing is tight, and you have the full function of the spiral.

The quick explanation:

With an awl, punch sewing stations. Each station consists of two holes, one on either side of a wire. 3-5 stations is adequate unless your pamphlet is very large.

Image shows two punched holes on either side of spiral wire

Starting at the top, go in through the back and through a wire loop. Go out and back in again, wrapping the wire twice.

This image shows each spiral wire being wrapped twice.

Pull tight, and tie a square knot. Go to the next sewing station and do the same, wrapping the wire twice. Loop the needle under the thread at the spine to create leverage when tightening, and continue along until the end.

Image shows sewing needle looping under some thread.

At the end, once you have looped the wire twice and tightened the thread, loop the needle under the thread above and tie a square knot.

Image shows a square knot.

Finish the pamphlet by removing the paper and wrapping the spine around neatly. Remove the protective blue film.  Voila!

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