1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

saddle-stitched booklets

Thread or staples, saddle-stitched booklets or signatures have a distinctive shape. | Image by tanakawho via flickr; CC BY 2.0 | Printing & Finishing Glossary | Alpha Index to Full Glossary:

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ

Securing loose printed, folded, and nested pages with stitches or staples down the middle of the fold (the spine) is known as saddle-stitched binding. The sheaf of papers or signature may be stitched with thread or staples. The name comes from the device or saddle on which the folded signatures is placed for stitching — with the saddle in the fold.

Saddle-stitching or saddle-stapling or "bookletmaking" is common for small booklets, calendars, pocket-size address books, and some magazines. Binding with saddle-stitching creates booklets that can be opened up flat.

The number of pages that can be bound using saddle-stitching is limited by the bulk of the papers. The larger the number of pages, the greater the amount of creep that occurs — inner pages that extend or creep further out than the outer pages when folded. Trimming the pages makes them neater but can result in uneven margins and possibly cut off text. This can be countered by building in a creep allowance after designing the pages which involves adjusting inner and outer margins. With a creep allowance, trimming the pages gives the neat appearance but keeps the margins and text intact.

Side-stitching is a similar method where the pages are stapled about 1/4" from the spine but the booklet can no longer be opened flat.

Do-It-Yourself Saddle-Stitch Book or Booklet Binding

The basic steps for saddle-stitching involve:
  1. print out pages (adjusted for creep if necessary)
  2. collate the pages into the right order (may be done during printing)
  3. add a cover, if desired
  4. if using staples:
    1. fold then unfold the pages to create a crease
    2. staple along the crease with a long reach stapler
  5. if using thread:
    1. fold then unfold the pages to create a crease
    2. use a needle or awl to put holes in the crease
    3. use a needle and thread to stitch through the holes
  6. fold along the stapled or stitched edge
  7. trim the edges so they all line up neatly

These tutorials go into more detail and often provide illustrations of the process whether using staples or thread. You'll find some variations in the techniques. Use what works best for your publication.

Also see: Binding Methods for Desktop Publishing

Also Known As: saddle-stapling | bookletmaking

Readers Respond: How Can I Deal With Creep?

Terms Related to Saddle-Stitched

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.