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What Is a Saddle Stitch Binding?

saddle stitch binding

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Saddle stitching can be functional, classy, and inexpensive.

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. Let’s take a look at just what we mean by “saddle stitch binding.”

What is a Saddle Stitch Binding?

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 is Saddle Stitch Binding Best?

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


  • 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.


  • 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.

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