What Is a Saddle Stitch Binding? Print Finishing Options

saddle stitch binding

Though it sounds like how a cowboy keeps his gear from coming apart, saddle stitching is actually a very popular binding method for magazines and brochures. Because many of JD Young’s available production printers and print shop finishing options include a saddle stitch binding feature, let’s take a look at just what we mean by “saddle stitch binding.”

The Saddle Stitch Binding Process

Depending on the materials and number of pages, the spine of the saddle stitch-bound magazine or brochure is bound with staples or wire. Lower-page brochures are usually bound with staples that run through the spine fold of a larger print. For higher-page magazines, catalogs, or brochures, stacked printed materials are folded and fed down a metal saddle-like piece of equipment where they are stitched together with metal wire. Once bound, the three other edges are trimmed to match the uniformity of the spine.

When To Opt For Saddle Stitch Binding

Different materials call for different binding techniques. A paperback book or manual with a large number of pages is best bound with perfect binding — a style of binding that connects pages with a strong, flexible thermal glue with uniformly trimmed pages. Saddle stitch binding, however, is best reserved for magazine-style materials, catalogs, and brochures. The process of saddle stitch binding is also very quick to produce in comparison to most other binding techniques, making for much faster turnaround times.

Pros and Cons of Saddle Stitching

Pros:

  • Inexpensive: Saddle stitching is among the least expensive binding options for booklet materials.
  • Laying Flat: Unlike perfect bound binding, saddle stitched documents lay flat very easily when opened.
  • Quick To Make: The turnaround time on producing saddle-stitched materials is very fast because there is no glue heating and drying process involved.

Cons:

  • Less Substantial: The binding of a saddle-stitch for a mass-produced document does wear on the paper with time and use.
  • Limited Pages: The nature of saddle-stitch limits the number of pages possible to include due to the spine fold in the bound materials.
  • Lower Quality Look: While a brochure may look stunning, saddle stitch binding will keep it looking like a brochure or magazine. It is designed to be a less expensive bind typically for time-sensitive material.

If you would like to learn more about saddle stitch binding and finishing options for printed materials or printer options, we invite you to reach out the Managed Print Solutions experts at JD Young — your Tulsa-based business solutions professions.