Most manuals on bookbinding tend to provide an outline of the basic bookbinding techniques, but do little to provide detailed information on specific aspects of the craft. A topic often overlooked is how to create endbands (also called "headbands"), those structural and decorative bands made of plain linen or hemp, silk or cotton thread, that one can see at the head and tail of the spine of a book.
Endbands from East to West, written by two experienced book conservators, is an easy to use, step-by-step guide showing how to create fourteen different types of historical endbands. Separate chapters are devoted to each, with all the necessary materials listed at the beginning. Among the examples are Coptic, Ethiopian, Islamic, Greek, Armenian, French, Monastic, Renaissance, Italian, German, and modern styles.
Each step is clearly illustrated and all the instructions have been tried out on students of the craft and perfected at the bench, so that the easiest and simplest method is presented. Written for both beginners and experienced binders, Endbands from East to West has established itself as one of the classic manuals for book conservators and hand bookbinders.
This third edition of the now-classic manual originally titled Headbands: How to Work Them has been revised and updated by Jenny Hille. Revisions include:
- New foreword by Georgios Boudalis, an expert in Eastern Mediterranean bookbinding structures and especially in endbands.
- Minor corrections and clarifications throughout, based on new scholarship, users' suggestions, and consultation with experts.
- Endbands grouped regionally (Eastern Mediterranean and Western Europe), because the techniques are entirely different.
- The technique for the Armenian endband has been completely revised, with new line drawings for the instructions.
- The bibliography has been updated.
"As a resource, the book is an excellent instruction manual for a wide variety of headbands that are not normally covered in general binding manuals. [...] The directions are clear enough so that even a beginner should be able to follow them. The book would also appeal to book artists looking for new ways to snazz up their work."
– Frank Lehman, Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
"Since it was first published in 1986, Jane Greenfield and Jenny Hille's book on endbands has been for me and most, if not all, book conservators and bookbinders the foundation of our knowledge of endbands, of how to distinguish them and how to make them."
– from the Foreword to the third edition by Georgios Boudalis