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Book & Paper Group Workshop: Secondary endbands with decorative braiding

Book & Paper Group

From: Thursday 03.09.20
at 6:00pm
To: Thursday 03.09.20
at 7:00pm



Icon Members: £6

Non-members: £10


The Book and Paper Group Committee have been working on how we continue to offer training opportunities to our members while maintaining safety measures during the COVID19 outbreak. To that end, we are really excited to bring you our first fully online practical workshop!

Event description: 


During the 14th and 15th century in the low countries, many primary endbands were braided. A braid is a complex structure or pattern formed by interlacing one or more strands of a flexible material such as leather or thread. This functional component is sewn through the covering of the text block and contributes to the stability of the connection of the cover and the text-block.

During this practical, guided online workshop, students will learn a variety of braided endbands. Starting by working a primary wound endband with back beads, over a single core. We will then explore two secondary braided elements first ‘Spanish braiding’, as described by Szirmai in The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. We will finish with a demonstration of how to work the single colour cross braided endband. An introductory talk at the start of the workshop will explain the basic technical and decorative variations and place them into context.

Instructor Biography

Shaun Thompson is a traditionally trained bookbinder with over thirty years’ experience and a passionate advocate for the importance of hand bookbinding skills in book conservation. He has worked for Cambridge University Library for the past 17 years and presently holds the position of Conservation and Collection Care Manager. Shaun has research interests in early European book structures, materials and the techniques used to produce them.

In preparation you will need:

  • A text-block, pre-drilled wooden block, or a piece of card or board
  • A core of rolled skin or cord
  • Plain linen thread
  • A single alum-tawed or tanned skin lace attached to a lacing needle
  • A fid or awl may come in handy

(Full details will be sent when booking is confirmed)
The workshop is limited to 12 attendees. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Icon members: £6 (plus booking fee) // Non-icon members: £10 (plus booking fee)

Booking is via ​Eventbrite​ only - click the link below to book!

For any enquiries please contact Jessica Pollard at


Shaun Thompson