Bookbinding Core 4 :: Classic Rounded Back Cloth Binding in-person workshop

 Registration is closed for this event

December 3rd, 2022 9:30 AM

  • Instructor: Sarah Songer
  • Workshop Extra: Core Curriculum
  • Workshop Type: Binding
  • Workshop Status: Wait-list
  • Workshop Start: December 3rd, 2022 9:30 AM
  • Workshop End: December 10th, 2022 5:30 PM
  • Sessions: 2
  • In-person or Online?: In-person


This is an in-person workshop. All students and the instructor must show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and agree to wear a mask for the duration of the class unless otherwise announced by SFCB. If you choose to complete the registration process you are agreeing to these terms.


Bookbinding Core Certificate Program

The San Francisco Center for the Book celebrates the craft and art of bookbinding. Our Bookbinding Core Certificate Program introduces students to four different binding models, leading them through the history and evolution of bookmaking.  It provides students a comprehensive foundation to delve into the practice of binding and qualifies them work in our bindery.

Click here to learn more about the Bookbinding Core Certificate Program and how to receive a discount!

Bookbinding Core 4 :: Classic Rounded Back Cloth Binding

The final class in our Core Bookbinding series (taught in two sessions) uses skills learned in each previous class to create a beautiful and classic rounded back cloth binding. After sewing, the book will be rounded and backed before the boards are attached and covered. This binding style points to many historical structures that came before it, making it an ideal structure for anyone interested in learning to bind books with leather, or learning to repair books.  More terms, more tools, more techniques: such are the rewards of the skilled bookbinder!

Competencies Gained:

  • Build on skills from Cores 1, 2 and 3


  • Understanding of swell, board thickness, and endsheet type, and their impact on rounded and backed bindings
  • Review of different types of sewing supports and spine linings, and how they function within a binding
  • General comparison of all four binding styles presented in the SFCB Core, and how each binding style fulfills a different goal depending on types of books and their uses, and the historical period in which each originated


  • Rounding and backing
  • Hand sewing silk endbands
  • Making and attaching a hollow


  • Nipping press
  • Job backer
  • Backing hammer
  • Guillotine

Materials to Bring: None

>> Prerequisites: Bookbinding Cores 1, 2, 3 <<

Workshop + Materials Fee: $350.00
Scholarships are available; please apply here.

*Students registering for the full Core series will receive a $100 discount off the total cost. Please call or email to enroll at the discounted rate.*

Date & Time: Saturdays, December 3 & 10, 2022 :: 9:30am-5:30pm

Location: 375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103 

NOTE: Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class. Registration will close three days prior to the start date of the workshop.


About the Instructor | Sarah Songer

Sarah is the daughter of a printer and a graphic artist; in rebellion, she became a bookbinder. She spent ten years at Arion Press and trained many apprentices in edition binding. She was a longtime student of design bookbinder Eleanore Ramsey and was the proprietor of Bay Area Book Repair for several years. Sarah enjoys sharing the many bookbinding tips and efficiencies she's learned over the years, and finds her own personal projects most satisfying if they make her laugh.

Past Student Reviews:

“Sarah was well-prepared and established a good rapport with the students. Her edition bookbinding experience shined through her teaching as she was able to share many helpful tips on how to do things right. I look forward to taking more classes from this instructor.”

 “Clear instructions, good preparation. As with other teachers, Sarah offered tips on how to work more effectively (such as sitting position while sewing), how to achieve best results, and places where you could go wrong.”


SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-5133
United States