Interleaved Notebook


11.2 x 8.0 x 2.2 cm

Notebook with interleaved structure of:

This is a silly book.

While playing with stitching patterns in my head (a favourite breastfeeding activity), I came up with this most basic of two-needle stitches:

inerleaves 1Threads emerge from 1A and 1B. (They're two ends of the same thread, but color-coded for clarity.) 1B goes in at 2A and emerges at 2B; 1A goes in at 2B and emerges at 2A...etc

The stitch gives a pattern of narrow X's across the back of the book. It would be a relatively weak structure, with only a few threads holding the signatures together. And without knots to lock the signatures in place, it would flex all over the place. But worse than that, it would be very, very dull.

interleaves 2But what if the X's joined, not adjacent signatures, but alternate signatures? That would widen them out. And there could be two sets of X's, each doing a different set of signatures. It would be, essentially, two books in one.

One could attach each set of signatures to only one cover. They would be prevented from falling apart by the interleaved nature of the stitching.

I used two different colors of paper in the book, cream and white (though the difference doesn't show very well on the photos). The covers are single sheets of leather, twice signature size plus a square. They were treated as signatures in their own right, stitched onto their separate sub-books last of all, then glued shut over all the knots.


  1. hingesThe book suffers from weak hinges. The green cover is only held on by four threads, the blue by six.
  2. The spine tends to sag, because I included squares. The foredge of the book block can therefore fall forward and down.
  3. sagThe spine is also very flexible, so that the book tends to twist easily. This exacerbates the sag, and makes it feel insecure.
  4. slideOn the other hand, the two sub-books are physically independent of one another, and can be slid back and forth in relation to each other. (This has to be done with care).

All in all, an interesting concept book. It's a totally pointless, fatally flawed, and inherently silly piece of bookbinding, but an interesting idea to do once.