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June 2008-Choose the Right Binding Method for Your Next Book Project

Whether your book project is destined for the classroom, coffee table or library shelf, selecting the proper binding style is critical for success. Before deciding on a binding option for your product, consider intended use, cost and required longevity. Ultimately, the end use of a book should dictate the appropriate binding method.

At Muscle Bound Bindery, our five dedicated binding lines have the capacity and flexibility to meet both long and short-run production needs. We offer four main binding styles: Side sewn case binding, Otabind layflat adhesive binding, perfect binding and hardcover, adhesive binding. Here’s an overview of these attractive binding solutions:

  • Side sewn case binding. This option offers one of the strongest binding methods available. Side sewing involves stitching the signatures from the side, close to the spine, before attaching the case. Side sewn case binding is frequently used for thinner products such as children’s books, educational manuals and reference materials. Hardbound books offer strength, durability and greater longevity for your project.

Side sewn books are side stitched for strength and frequently used for thinner products.


  • Otabind layflat adhesive binding. Muscle Bound was one of the first binderies in the United States to offer this patented binding style and today we remain one of the country’s foremost producers of Otabind books. Otabind books feature a very functional “detached” spine that allows books to lay flat. This makes it an ideal choice for cookbooks, music books and any manual where the user needs to keep his or her hands free. Otabind is an economical alternative to other lay flat binding styles, such as mechanical binding.

Otabind books offer a “detached” flexible spine that allows them to lay flat.


  • Perfect binding. Perfect binding offers a classic appearance and traditional versatility. During this process, adhesive is applied to the spine of a book block, which is then married to a cover. Although perfect binding is the traditional adhesive bound format known for its economy and ability to bind thick and thin books, its main drawback is the book’s spine that’s often not flexible enough to remain open by itself on a table or stand.

In perfect binding, the cover's spine is glued directly to the book block.

  • Case Bound adhesive binding. Case bound adhesive binding books can be a more economical alternative to side sewn binding, depending on page count and signature configuration. The text and end sheets are collated and bound on the perfect binder, then attached to the case. While this method is not as strong as a sewn book, it still provides an attractive, durable product. 

A hardcover, adhesive bound book is durable and more economical than most thread sewn styles.


The Muscle Bound Advantage
At Muscle Bound Bindery, we’ve been offering customers the best binding solutions for more than 40 years. Our range of binding methods include side sewn case binding, Otabind layflat adhesive and perfect binding. We have an adhesive binding style for every application and budget. Call us to discuss top-quality binding solutions for your next book project.



Muscle Bound Bindery
701 Plymouth Avenue N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Ph: 612.522.4406
Fax: 612.522.0927

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