Twin-Needle Coptic

Twin-needle coptic is a simple stitch which produces pairs of chain stitches across the spine of the book. It is sewn using a text block of folded sections and is sewn through the sections. The sewing style results in two threads lying down the centre of each section and this can create a bit of bulk at the spine edge of the book. This bulk can be used to advantage if you would like to add things to your pages like photos, collage or scraps. It is a strong sewing and is suited to books that require a flexible movement or feel.


  1. Prepare text block by folding sheets in half and nesting them into sections. Fold enough paper into one section to create a section of about 3mm thickness.
  2. Prepare two covers equal in size to the sections but taller by 4mm and wider by 2mm.
  3. Prepare a template of the sewing stations for piercing holes in the sections. If it is a short book only two holes will be necessary. If the book is quite tall make as many pairs of sewing stations as necessary.

  4. Diagram 1
  5. Thread a needle to EACH END of a length of thread. Thread will have to be the length of two sections multiplied by number of sections plus a length to start and a length to finish. So thread for a six section book would be: 2 lengths multiplied by 6 sections plus 2 lengths which is 14 section lengths.
  6. Place the back cover down on the work surface.
  7. Place a section on top of the cover.
  8. Start sewing inside the section. Sew out the 1st hole with one needle and out the 2nd hole with the other needle.

  9. Diagram 2
  10. With each needle, sew through the cover from the outside to the inside, twice.

  11. Diagram 3
  12. With each needle, sew back into the section.
  13. Cross over the needles inside the section and sew out the other holes.
  14. Place the next section on top of the last.
  15. Sew into the section.
  16. Cross over the needles and sew out the other holes.

  17. Diagram 4
  18. Pass the needle behind the two threads that are between the previous two sections. This makes the link stitch.

  19. Diagram 5
  20. Repeat steps 11-14 for each section until you have added your last section and completed its link stitch.
  21. Place the front cover on top of the last section.
  22. Pass the needle through the cover from inside to outside, twice.
  23. Sew back into the last section and tie-off threads together using a square knot.