Posts Tagged ‘Embroidered Books’

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Today I will be reviewing the following book

Embroidered Books By Isobel Hall

Publisher: Batsford

ISBN: 978 1 9063 8813 3

Why I ordered this book

Having more experience in bookbinding now, I was looking for some new inspiration, for decorating the covers of my books. I already have books detailing the binding itself and I really wanted some visual inspiration of finished works.


The first section of the book deals with construction of  the books.

The styles mentioned are;

Books with embroidered spines, Post and screws, Concertina style books, Shaped books, Carousel books, Waterfall Pages and box books.

The next section covers Techniques and Materials

Cocoon Strippings, Plaster of Paris, Inkjet printing, Glue Sticks, Metal relief foils, Texture effects, Marbling, working with Waxes, Using Grungeboard and Using Pulp Papers.

At the back of the book are a list of UK suppliers and also a selection of other books the reader may find of interest.


The finished examples of books shown are very beautiful. The list of techniques and binding styles was impressive.


The step by steps included with the finished picture are not a detailed guide, so it is not your usual project based book. The descriptions are more how to combine techniques together. You need a thorough knowledge of various materials and products before you will be able to follow along with this book.

I am new to fabric and had no idea what the materials were or how to use them. Since the only instruction in the book is written, I felt it needed to go into more detail on what to do. This book would have benefited by having a glossary of products, so newbies like myself could look up what something was.

Sadly the descriptions for me left me with many questions and I wasn’t able to follow any of the projects. I would need to do a lot of research away from the book, to discover what the products were, and how to use them before I could used this book as it was intended. The earlier list of items needed at the start of each project disappeared, so I was having to read the entire project to find out what I needed, only to find I didn’t have them.

Summing Up

My first glance through this book impressed me, wonderful images of finished books, the first few projects looked much like the tutorials I write; with a list of products you need followed by a list of instructions and I thought I was going to enjoy this book. Sadly when I started reading it, I became lost in a wealth of products I didn’t recognise with no where to find out about them, within the book. Had this book stated it was for an experienced fabric artist,  I would have known that I didn’t have the required skills to follow it.

Fewer projects but with more detail of how to complete the project would have helped. I write this from a position of having NO prior knowledge or experience with working with fabric. If I had already known what the materials were and how to use them, then this would be a good book to encourage me with ideas of how to combine techniques.

I still enjoy the images of the finished books and will use them to inspire me with products I already own. If I later acquire more skills with the fabrics mentioned in this book, then I will revisit it with new eyes.

Who is this book For?

Someone who is used to working with fabric and already has techniques under their belt. Looking for ways of combining their skills. This book would not be good for a new bookbinder or someone new to using fabrics.

This review tried to be fair to the author, who is obviously very talented and knowledgeable. Her finished work is very inspiring. Note to the publisher’s please add something in the back cover or inside jacket, to say this is for experienced fabric crafters. I bought this book online and that was all the info I had before purchase. It was only once I was looking through the book that I discovered the need for prior knowledge.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie 🙂


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