Black Cat Bindery

Black Cat Bindery
Black Cat Bindery. Traditional Craft Bookbinders

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Box making

Box making in photos

we always start from the inside and work our way out so the first thing we do is the measure the book, or in this case, large mounted photographs that we are making it for.

The trays {walls of the box} are made from 3mm interlocking greyboard

They are then covered in cloth or marbled paper

 The rounded spine is made up from millboard and then rounded using a spokeshave
 The rounded spine is then covered with paper and the leather false raised bands are then added
 The leather is then cut to size and pared thin
The spine is then covered with leather and the boards are covered with cloth

 The trays are the attached to the case and then we can do the gold lettering and tooling

 This box is lined in ivory moire silk

Monday, 14 November 2011

chiyogami decorative paper


Decorative Japanese papers

Japan has a long history of producing richly patterned decorative papers. Chiyogami papers are the best known decorative papers and have their origins far back in Japanese history and culture.

Originally printed from woodblocks, Chiyogami papers history is rooted in the old printing and book illustrations of the Edo period. The patterns are closely linked to textile designs found on silk kimonos.
 Nowadays the designs are screen printed by hand, using pigment based inks and a separate screen for each colour.The design is built up with each colour laid down individually.

The most common uses for these papers are bookbinding, origami, box making, collage and card making, covering furniture and even walls.

 Japanese Chiyogami decorative paper

Albums and print boxes made using chiyogami decorative papers

12 x 12" album 

9 x 9" print box covered in linen with chiyogami lining

12 x 12" album
More examples at

Monday, 29 August 2011

Limited Edition of FEET OF CLAY by Paul Muldoon.

Limited Edition of FEET OF CLAY by Paul Muldoon
Designed and Printed by John Grice at Evergreen Press in 16pt Lutetia on Magnani paper.
Limited to 112 copies signed by author, 100 copies bound in wrappers and 12 copies bound in quarter Morocco. Bound by BL:ACK CAT BINDERY, Somerset
First published by Four Candles Press Oxford

Bound by Black Cat Bindery, Somerset in yellow ochre Morocco goatskin spine with black sides. Black leather label cut at an angle and gold title running down the spine. The leather spine has also been cut at an angle to echo Neil Boulsfields engraving.

Just adding a couple more photos of the finished edition of FEET OF CLAY
We decided to move the gold lettering as the spine is very slim.

If any one wants any more information or is interested in purchasing a  copy please get in touch with
Joe McCann
Four Candles Press
76 Oliver Road

Tel: (07971) 040507

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Wedding albums and boxes bound in Tsarina Crush silk cloth

This is our new range of wedding albums and boxes.
I have been looking for a silk like material for ages and eventually found this beautiful crushed, two tone silk.
Lots more photos of examples at

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Decorative presentation box -

Making of a drop back box
more examples at

Box making step 4

After the case has been made the gold and blind decoration and lettering was put on before attaching the case to the trays.
The box was then lined in a tan suedel.

box making step 3

Once the trays and spine piece have been made the leather is then cut to shape and dyed to the required colour before the case is made.
The leather is shaped around the spine and raised bands before being turned in around the case

Box making - next step

The next stage is the make a spine piece for the case.
As this box is going to have a rounded spine we need to make up a spine strip with mill board and then shape it using a spoke shave and sandpaper.
After we have achieved the required shape we then covered the spine in handmade paper and then put strips of leather on top to create the raised bands

Making a leather storage box

A customer had asked me to keep a photo diary of the making of his presentation box so I thought I would put it up on our blog for all to see.

We always start with the inside measurements. ie the dimensions of the object or objects that are to be stored. In this case they were a series of mounted photographs.

Then the inside tray is constructed using double thickness grey board { 6mm thick} and staggered joints in the corners for extra strenght. The outer tray is then made to fit the inner and then they are both covered in cloth or paper.
In this instance we have used a handmade marbled paper.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

May 2011 Wedding album season

May has arrived and this year we have been really busy producing wedding albums and matching boxes.
I have just had a small heart made up by our block makers so we will soon be able to offer a gold or silver embossed heart on the front covers as well as the personalisation of names.
We have also recently been asked to make up a wedding album with a sunken panel on the front to hold a beautiful cross stitch design of the wedding couple.{ pictured above} We are always keen to try and bring customers ideas and designs to life making their books and albums truly bespoke.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Leather Journals

Samuel Peyp's was a master of journal writing...... A 17th Centuary Gentleman that helped us understand more about the 1600's just because he kept a diary.

I am wondering how many people keep diaries these days. I had one when I was in my teens and wish I had continued sometimes..... maybe everyone is blogging instead.
Not quite so personal as sneeking up to your room or going for a long walk and finding a quite spot to sit, think and write.

So we decided to make some up and see if people would be interested.

Bound in the finest waxed hide leather and handmade in Somerset, our flap and tie journals have a simple but traditional look.
Black Cat Bindery offer these journals in 2 different sizes 295mm x 210mm { A4} and the 210mm x 150mm { A5} and they are available in 4 different colours.
Rich dark red, black, chocolate brown and tan.
Each journal has 144 pages { 288 sides} of quality off white 150gsm writing / drawing paper and is bound in quality waxed hide leather. The word Journal has been blind embossed in a script font on the right hand bottom corner
Your journal can also be individually personalised with initials or name in gold, silver or blind embossed and comes in a presentation gift box. If you have any specific embossing needs or changes please email us to discuss.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Print boxes / Keep sake Boxes / Drop back Boxes / memory boxes


We make lots of drop back boxes. Useful for so many different things including storing antiquarian books and photographic prints, as well as hiding paperwork or your kindle.

I love boxes..... I can spy them a mile off. I am drawn to ones covered in unusual papers. They can be beautiful objects as well as useful.

All our boxes are made to order. The fit is very important. An antiquarian book must not be able to rattle around in its box or be so squashed that its boards bow and headcaps are damaged.

Some boxes need to be of archival quality using acid neutral paper as lining. Others can be more flamboyant. I love it when you open up a drop back box to be hit by a vibrant moiré silk or marbled paper. --- A secret revealed ---

We make a lot of print boxes. for limited editions photographic prints and artists prints.
The images can be individually mounted with overlay mounts. Apertures can be bespoke sizes to get the perfect fit. We then make the solander box / print box to fit the mounted images.

Print box to fit mounted photographs are great for both presentation and storage. These can be made to any size and depth

Black overlay mounts with bevelled aperture to hold an 8x6" photos.

These boxes can be covered in many different materials.
Below is a print box to hold 10x12 prints covered in black Buckram cloth on the walls  and
Quinelle Nubuk for the case and linings.

Below is a print box to hold 5x7" prints stacked on their sides, covered in oatmeal linen with decorative ribbon ties

Below is a print box to hold  mounts with 2 x 4x6" apertures.
The box is covered in a grey fleck linen

Bespoke print boxes to hold 5x7" prints covered in a linen, hint of green.
 Black Buckram print box to hold mounts with 6x8" apertures
 Below is a print box covered in linen blush to hold mounts with 8x6" prints

Decorative leather solander boxes for architectural photographs. Rounded spines in Morocco goatskin leather and green Buckram sides. Green leather labels with gold tooling, Full gilt spines
Have  a look at for prices of popular sizes and aperture mounts. More examples at

Decoratively lined print boxes made to order
Taupe Xion cloth covered Print box lined in our unique passion flower decorative paper.
Ivory with old gold printed design.

 Detail of decorative linings

 Black Xion cloth covered presentation print box lined in our unique passion flower decorative paper. Black with old gold design

 Detail of decorative linings
 Chiyogami lined print box covered in oatmeal linen cloth

Print box with bespoke two wells. Bound in grey Dubletta cloth. Flip lid
 Print box with flip lid and compartments to hold matching CD folio and USB stick. Bound in grey Xion cloth

Print box with flip lid to fit 5x7" prints and a USB stick. Bound in cream linen