Mechanical binding involves clasping individual sheets together with plastic or metal wire or rings. Some types of mechanical binding include spiral binding, loose-leaf, and three-ring binding.
Smythe sewing is a binding process of sewing thread through the backfold of individual signatures, linking the signatures together. Smythe sewn documents are able to lay flat when opened. Smythe sewing is used primarily for bookbinding.
Saddle stitching is a binding process in which a wire is stitched through the fold line of a series of stacked open signatures. Saddle stitchers range from small manually operated devices to larger automated devices.
Best Management Practices & Pollution Prevention
Mechanical binding, smythe sewing, and saddle stitching do not require the use of chemicals. Therefore, if feasible for the project, these types of bindings may provide an opportunity to reduce air emissions when compared to adhesive binding.
If possible, recycle waste binding materials, such as scrap plastic coil, comb, or wire.
For access to vendors who may supply alternative materials and equipment, see the PNEAC Vendor Directory.
Health & Safety
Many of these binding processes include the use of equipment with moving parts or materials that may have sharp edges. Always ensure that the proper machine guarding is in place on binding equipment, and that required personal protective equipment is used.