I was so happy a few days ago to receive my copy of "Bookbinding - Limp bindings from Tallinn" as mentioned in my last post, and I just love it! I think it is such a wonderful idea of Monica's to study some of the historical bindings found in our archives and make them available for those who are perhaps not able to visit. I know that there is another volume of a similar type in the offing and I can't wait to see it. Here is the first leather bound journal which this publication has inspired me to create.
One of the things that I really like about Monica's approach is that she is actively encouraging improvisation and playing with the many creative possibilities around these techniques, which seem to date back to the 13th century. It is nevertheless helpful to understand the structure of the historical originals, which were usually very practical bindings for minutes, accounts etc.
It is lovely to be able to look at images of the original bindings, but also to see how some of our fellow bookbinders in Sweden have interpreted these ideas and given them an imaginative twist. Somewhat surprisingly, even authentic copies of the historical bindings look strangely modern.
I really like the integrity and apparent simplicity of these bindings, however, I think that they are entitled to a better name (hence the question mark in the post title). In contemporary English, the word "LIMP" seems to have acquired something of a negative connotation - meanings such as lacking substance, lacking vitality, without force, firmness or energy, or even lame; spring to mind. Therefore, I think "Supple" or "Flexible" would provide a more accurate description and would lend these beautiful bindings the more positive nuance they deserve. What do you think?