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Machine-made headband (blue-white) and drawing tape (red)

The headband is the small, colored ribbon, which in hardcover books and ceiling volumes at the top and bottom of the spine is glued.


In modern times, the headband serves to cover the gap between the spine of the book and the book block and to beautify the book. In addition, it protects against dust and stress. The headband, which is often just referred to as capital , should not be confused with the reading or drawing tape .


Woven headbands

The headband is now made in a weaving mill and bought ready-made by the bookbinder . The bookbinder now only has to cut off the necessary pieces and glue them to the upper and lower edges of the book spine.


Hand-stitched headband (1731)
Hand-stitched headband (20th century)

The woven headband known today has been around since the beginning of the 18th century. Up until the beginning of the 16th century, bookbinders used a piece of leather or parchment for capital , which he looped around with the sewing thread and using the sewing needle to form a small decorative loop. The original purpose was derived from the stapling technique on real frets, which has been in use since the Middle Ages . In this context, there was a simple (not a double) band at the head and foot of the book, which also served as the turning point of the thread in the course of the stitching and whose ends were attached to the wooden cover like the other stitching bands. With the changes in binding technology since the Renaissance, which gradually moved from wooden covers to cardboard covers, the functional capital bundle turned into aesthetically justified, hand-stitched capital.

This kind of capital formation, simplified in this way, is still used today in traditional hand-binding art and is called hand- stitched capital . With the advent of the Fitzbund in the 16th century, the capitalbund was artfully stitched, wound or braided from its own thread.


  • Helmut Hiller, Stephan Füssel: Dictionary of the book. 6th fundamentally revised edition. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-465-032209 .
  • Ursula Rautenberg (Hrsg.): Reclams Sachlexikon des Buches. Reclam, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-15-010542-0 .

See also

Web links

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