There’s a good chance you’re wondering why it’s called saddle stitching. It’s definitely a strange name, but the explanation is pretty straightforward. This binding process utilises staples to join the pages of a booklet and the covers. The point where they’re connected form the spine of the booklet. During binding, the pages of the booklet along with the cover get folded. It’s then stapled along the crease of the fold from the outside. The staples clench on the inside of the centre pages.

When done professionally, during the stapling process the pages get placed over a piece of equipment that resembles a saddle. In the printing industry, we refer to stapling as stitching. Hence the name. Typically only two staples are needed to hold the booklet together. However larger books may require more. This type of method is different from PUR binding, which uses glue to create a more distinct spine. Saddle stitch binding is much more appropriate for booklets with fewer pages.

saddle stitch binding book


Saddle stitch binding is much better for shorter booklets. If you need something like a 200-page employee handbook, this method won’t work. The staples need to be able to penetrate all the pages in the booklet. Generally, between 60 and 70 pages are the maximum amount saddle stitching can accommodate. Alternatively, this binding can also create very small, four-page booklets.

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Booklets bound by saddle stitching come with a wide range of benefits. The most popular advantage is the cost. This binding is typically the most inexpensive option. If you’re on a strict budget, these booklets provide a quality product at a low cost. Saying this, we do offer digital PUR binding here at UK Book Binders at highly competitive rates, with spine widths from 1.9mm.

saddle stitch binding


In saddle stitch booklets, the pages are in multiples of four. This means that each individual folded sheet will create four pages of the booklet. Because of this, the page count of a saddle-stitched book must a multiple of four. If it’s not, you’ll have one empty page. There’s simply no way to get around this.

When it comes to the type of paper used, a thinner stock will allow for more pages. This is because the samples must be able to thoroughly penetrate each page and secure the booklet. If your booklet doesn’t contain many pages, you can opt for a thicker, higher-quality paper. This will give your booklet a more professional look and feel. Because the front and back cover will consist of only one sheet of folded paper, you can go with a different stock. You also have the freedom to add colour and graphics to the cover. If needed, the booklet will get trimmed around the edges to ensure each page is uniform. This helps achieve a professional appearance.

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It’s important to understand that with saddle stitch, there’s no room for text across the spine. In addition, if your booklet is too big, it may not lay flat. Keep this in mind if you plan to mail your booklet out. It’s also important to use margins so the text closer to the spine isn’t hard to read. You should also account for text close to the outer edge that could possibly get trimmed.


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