What is saddle stitch binding?

January 9, 2020

If you look at any magazine, comic book, or brochure, you’re probably looking at an example of saddle stitch binding. It is one of the most popular book binding methods available today. In saddle stitching, folded sheets of paper are nested one within another and attached by staples through the fold. These stacks are placed over a holding apparatus, with each side hanging over like legs on a saddle. Then, long wire staples are threaded, or “stitched” through the paper, giving the method its peculiar name.  While two staples is the standard for saddle stitched booklets, larger paper sizes can necessitate more along the spine.

 How many pages can I have in a saddle stitch booklet? 

The page count of a saddle stitched booklet must be a multiple of four, including front and back covers. If you fold one sheet of paper in half, you will naturally end up with 4 different “pages”. Each additional sheet of paper added after this would increase the page count by 4. As a result, the minimum number of pages in a saddle-stitch booklet is 4. The maximum number of pages depends on factors including paper thickness, although 64 pages is considered a reasonable upper limit. With especially thin paper, you can get up to around 100 pages before the book becomes too thick to lie flat naturally. 

What are the benefits of saddle stitching?

Today, saddle stitch binding is still the most cost effective book binding method that still produces quality and professional looking brochures and booklets. Especially in cases of large quantities being shipped long distances, saddle stitching adds a minimal amount of excess bulk and weight, leaving shipping costs relatively low. While saddle stitching is generally best for lower page count projects, the method is extremely versatile and can be used for both long and short runs, as well as projects ranging in size from pocket pamphlet to road map. 

Request a quote on your next saddle stitch booklet job with Calitho today.