Exposed Smyth Sewn Books

What are “exposed Smyth sewn” books?

I saw the first exposed Smyth sewn books only four years ago. The photo below is the first exposed Smyth Sewn book we bound.


What is the difference between this binding style and a regular Smyth sewn hard cover book? The difference is that there is no material covering the sewing on the spine and the spine is generously covered with cold glue.


As with a regular Smyth sewn book, several different colours of threads can be used. Exposed Smyth binding really shows off the different thread colours

Is this binding method a fad or a trend? I’m not sure BUT we are certainly seeing a lot of them.



  • Hard cover on front and back of book
  • Cover thickness up to 120pt
  • Flush 3-side trimmed; cover does not overhang on three sides like a regular case bound book
  • Thread exposed in spine
  • No title/printing on spine




  • When the book is open, it lies as flat as a case bound book
  • It’s eye catching!
  • Looks handmade, natural …
  • Can be cheaper than a case bound book



Factors to consider

  • Think about what will be printed, foil stamped, embossed, debossed, screen printed or mounted on the front and back covers. We’ve seen all 5 processes used, sometimes in combinations
  • Let us specify the board to be used. This benefits you in two ways. The board we choose is warp resistant and will work with whatever ‘print’ method you choose


2480 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON M1P 2R7 Canada