What is Square Back Binding?

Stitched Books Look Better with Square Back Binding

Several years ago, we added an extra extension to our stitcher and trimmer – one that can ‘square the back (or spine)” of stitched books. We added a Watkiss Spinemaster to produce square back binding as an option.

This additional service is all about improving the look and feel and package of stitched books – particularly books that are bulky, large or small.

square backed stitched
Samples of Square Backed Stitched Books

The benefit of square backing the spine of a stitched book is that it will ‘flatten’ bulky stitched books – using books with heavy weight papers and/or with a large number of pages (for example, more than 66 pages).

Alternatively, small stitched books (not thin books) also are ‘helped’ by the square of the spine – they open more easily with a flat, square spine than the more common, ‘pointier’ spine.

As page counts rise, the book has a tendancy to ‘spring open’ or the spine pops up – making it difficult to stack books one on top of another on table displays.

By squaring the spine, the stitched book lays much flatter and looks almost like a perfect bound book.

The square back stitched book can save room in packing books for shipment – saving almost 30% room (that is, enabling you to pack 30% more books in each carton).

The process of square backing is running the stitched book through an inline or offline Spinemaster that squares or flattens the spine by applying pressure to the spine and the front and back of the book.

This pressure application also creates a ‘false’ crease line along the spine that mimics perfect bound books and is a result of the pressure gripping the cover near the spine.


To find out more about square-backing your books, contact Pacific Bindery Services.