Bookbinding and paper marbling

Multi-section bindings with soft covers with Susan Hufton

Ref: S3D09440

Suitable for all

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Places available

About this course

Learn to make substantial sewn multi-section books to use as journals, sketchbooks and notebooks. These books are particularly useful made with soft covers that have flexibility and are easily transportable.

Course Description

The tutor will demonstrate several methods of making multi-section books and help you to design and make your own. First, you will make two blank notebooks with sewn sections, one with a folded paper cover and one with a cloth or leather cover to learn the basic techniques. This style of soft cover can be made with fabric or soft leather, can be reused and customised for your own purposes

Then there will be time and opportunity to discover how you might use these structures for your own specific purposes. Use of different materials for covers will be discussed together with considerations of size and scale.

Historical examples will be looked at for inspiration and to help you to explore how you might adapt their ideas and structures for yourself.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply materials shared amongst the group; text and cover paper and glue for two notebooks.

What students need to bring

  • Bring with you any specific material that you may wish to bind into a multi section books. For example, prints, drawings, pamphlets. The tutor will advise and help you prepare and begin to bind them for completion at home. This is not essential as you may wish simply to make useful blank books in order to learn techniques and structures.
  • A selection of your own paper/cloth/ leather (even from old leather clothing) that you may particularly want to use.
  • Two jars with lids for glue and paste.
  • A single hole punch if you have one - not one for punching holes in file paper.
  • An old magazine to provide paper for gluing out on.
  • An apron.
  • Strong linen threads if you have them, bookbinding thread for the two sample books will be provided.
  • A selection of sewing needles.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Knife with disposable blades such as a scalpel or craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Metal ruler
  • Set square - ideally one with a metal edge you can cut against
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Glue brushes - large and small (these do not have to be bookbinding brushes, paintbrushes are acceptable)
  • Bone folder
  • Bookbinding needles and linen thread
  • some leather pieces


Susan Hufton

Susan Hufton trained at Roehampton and now teaches and writes about calligraphy and bookbinding in the UK and abroad. She undertakes public and private commissions, and has pieces in V&A and Crafts Study Centre collections. Susan is a Fellow of The Society of Scribes and Illuminators and Full Member of Letter Exchange.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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