Wire stitching is divided into two categories: saddle wire
and side wire stitching.
Saddle stitched books are constructed with sheets that are printed front
and back that represent four pages of a book. The sheets of four pages are
stacked with other sheets in the correct page order and then stapled along
the fold line or saddle. The stapling is accomplished on equipment that cuts
staples from a continuous roll of wire mounted on the machine and inserts
them into the paper. Some machines can do the folding and stitching in one
operation. Many booklet manufacturers use this multiple task equipment to
Common Cover Types
Two of the most popular types of covers used
for saddle stitched booklets are the standard cover and the self cover.
Saddle stitched binding can work for volumes up to 128 pages (32 sheets,
printed with 2 pages front and back) if the paper stock is thin enough, but
it just isn't practical for anything larger. The larger the quantity of sheets
that are saddle stitched, the greater the problem with a phenomenon
called page "creep". Creep refers to the inner sheets sticking
out further than those closer to the outside, because of the paper thickness.
When the edges are trimmed flush after stitching, the width of the innermost
sheet will be the shortest in the book, with each successive sheet being wider
than the next one, working from the inside of the book to the outside. The
printed area of each page will appear to get further from the outside margin,
as you go from the inside of the book to the outside. To compensate for this,
the pages are "shingled", which means that the inner margin, or
"gutter", is increased on the pages working from the inside of the
book to the outside. The gutter gets successively wider page-by-page. The
outside page has the widest gutter and the inside page has the narrowest gutter.
Increasing the gutter moves the printed area closer to the outside margin.
When the pages of the book are trimmed flush, the printed copy appears to
cover the same portion of each page. This procedure is not normally performed
on booklets with only a few pages because the effects of creep are minimal
on publications with few pages.
With side wire stitching, staples are inserted into the pages in the inner
margin. The staples are inserted from the front side of the book through the
pages to the back. Side wire binding can be used when the book is too thick
to be saddle stitched. Side wire binding does not allow the book to be opened
flat and an extra allowance for the inner margin must be made to allow for
the staples. Covers for these books are usually scored so that they can be
opened easily and neatly. The binding area can also be covered with decorative
tape not only to hide the staples, but to also provide added strength to the
binding and make the book easier to handle (staples will not catch on other
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