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The Evolution of Bookbinding

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One of the methods that inevitably came with the development of the printing press is bookbinding.

The evolution of bookbinding started during the first century when much of the binding was done by hand. The next leap was during the latter part of the nineteenth century when machines were developed for gluing, trimming, case-making and case-in. Books were mainly bound through saddle stitching and spiral binding. These methods are still used today.

In 1935, a form of binding called "perfect binding" emerged. The German publisher, Albatross Books, introduced the first paperback books as an experiment for this binding. When Pocket Books in America published popular titles in paperback format, it caught on and soon many people were reading paperback books.

Today, paperback books are prominent and book assembly is fully automated. For beautiful, neatly bound books, we use perfect binding machines.

A key element in the perfect binding process is the adhesive. The glue used to stick pages together has evolved greatly over the past years. When perfect binding first started, the adhesive used was cold glue, which became brittle over time. It was in the early 1940s when the hot-melt glues were developed. This adhesive made the process more cost-effective and more popular. With hot-melt gluing, large binding systems were created which could do high-speed in-line finishing and trimming.

PUR glue is the up and coming solution in perfect binding. Equipment for that perfect binding process is the Morgana Digibook. But the Digibook isn’t your typical binding machine.



The Morgana Digibook does not use the traditional EVA hot-melt but another adhesive -- PUR (polyurethane reactive adhesive). The Morgana Digibook uses PUR because of the many advantages it has over EVA.

PUR bound books typically will give 2.5 – 4 times the page pull strength of an EVA bound book.

A much wider range of materials can be bound using PUR, including recycled stock, digitally printed stock, gloss papers, synthetic papers and much more.

A much thinner layer of spine glue can be applied (typically 0.3 – 0.5mm) giving flexibility and flatter lying books, while retaining the page pull strength.

Below is a table comparing PUR and EVA’s characteristics.


Additional benefits of PUR include Low Application Temperature, Flexibility, and Durability. In summary, PUR allows users to now successfully bind materials which were unable to be bound with conventional EVA hot melts. Visit Morgana’s page on the Digibook machines for more information.

Perfect binding has developed mainly through its evolution of adhesives. PUR may be the answer to solve your perfect binding questions.

Interested in the Morgana's Digibook? Contact us for more information!

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Last modified on Friday, 10 July 2015 14:04

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