Perfect binding is a method of bookbinding that is utilized for many types of less expensive books, manuals, and other simple collections of documents. Unlike some binding processes that require sewing the pages into the spine of the book, perfect binding requires no sewing at all. Instead, a water-resistant adhesive is used to hold the pages in place by attaching them to the cover of the document.
The actual process of perfect binding involves aligning the individual pages of the book so that they form a perfect stack. It is not unusual for the book binder to use a clamp to hold the pages in place once they are properly aligned. The pages are then glued together along the binding side of the stack. Once the process of gluing the pages together is completed, a second application of glue is used to secure the cover to the collection of pages. When finished, perfect binding creates a clean look with a flat spine.
In most applications, perfect binding is used with less expensive binding projects. A paperback book is a prime example of the use of this binding method. The process works well with paper of varying grades, making it a good option even with paperbacks that utilize recycled or pulp paper. Along with paperback books, perfect binding is also often employed with the preparation of training manuals, course workbooks, and other documents that require some type of binding process.
In recent years, the use of perfect binding has become a viable option with heavier book covers, such as the sturdier softback covers on larger books and even books with hard covers. Part of the attraction is the lower cost, allowing book producers to sell the product at a more competitive price.
Also known as case binding, the use of perfect binding also lends itself well to smaller publishing concerns, such as desktop publishing in the home and publish on demand (POD) businesses. The equipment required to create a perfect bind is relatively simple and easy to operate. Glues used in this binding technique are also easy to work with, making the task of creating a professional look possible even by people with little binding experience.