Sewing stations are created by passing a thread through a spine fold when sewing a book. Each sewing support will therefore correspond to a sewing station. Sewing stations include change-over stations or chain-stitch stations in an unsupported structure. Some broad sewing supports have a sewing hole on each side of them and these should count as a single sewing station with two holes (two-hole sewing station). Very occasionally, three-hole stations may be encountered. In a structure with sewing supports there will usually be a change-over station above and below the supported area of the spine, thus adding two extra stations to the number of sewing supports. If there are no separate change-over stations, the number of sewing stations will be the same as the number of sewing supports. In some German bindings with Kapitalbünde, the binders worked chainstitches across the spine between the Kapitalbünde and the closest sewing supports, thus creating two additional stations. In some English bindings of the second half of the seventeenth century with bookblocks sewn on recessed sewing supports, additional recesses were cut across the spine between the sewing supports and sometimes also at head and tail close to the change-over stations to allow the spine adhesive to penetrate to the inner bifolia of the gatherings in order to reinforce multi-section sewing and the often rather weak structures found on such books. The term sewing station has been used by some writers to include only those stations where there are sewing supports and not to include the change-over stations, but this would mean that unsupported sewing structures would have no sewing stations at all, which is clearly not the case. Sewing stations can either be made as a book is sewn by pushing a needle through the spine folds of otherwise unmarked gatherings, or they can be prepared in advance of sewing (marking up), which will result in neater, faster and more regular sewing. Different methods were used to do this.
Bindings in which the gatherings are held together by adhesive only, without any form of sewing or stitching. They may, however, be reinforced by glueing strips of material into recesses cut across the spine. The earliest examples of European adhesive bindings recorded on printed books are English, with one example dating from the 1620s and a small group from the period 1670-1690. German examples have been identified from the second half of the eighteenth-century and very occasionally in England at the end of the eighteenth century. The small number of survivals from these early periods is a reflection either of the ephemeral nature of some of the texts bound in this manner, or the inherent instability of such structures before the introduction of flexible adhesives. The so-called 'Perfect binding' patented in 1836 and probably first used in 1839 (Middleton, p.30), in which caoutchouc was used as the adhesive, proved no more durable.
False raised bands are purely decorative (or deceptive) and have no structural function. False bands have been recorded on a German binding of the mid-fifteenth century (Szirmai 1999, p.187), and were popular in the form of false halfbands and false kettlebands in Germany from the last quarter of the fifteenth to the end of the sixteenth century, and in Italy from ca 1535 to ca 1565. The use of false bands to make books sewn on fewer supports look as if they were sewn on more is an occasional feature of French and English bindings from the mid-sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century, and they were also used in combination with recessed sewing supports to make such books look as if they were sewn on the more expensive and stronger raised sewing supports. They were also used on books with adhesive structures in Britain in the years ca 1670 - ca 1690. They came back into fashionable, decorative use in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, and become a standard feature of hand-bound books from then on.
A strip of sheet material usually placed across the panel formed between two sewing stations, and occasionally over an individual sewing support, and which extends beyond on both sides the width of the spine, to form lining extensions at each end. Panel transverse linings are almost always found only on bindings with raised sewing supports, with one lining to each panel, whereas sewing support transverse linings will only be found on bindings with recessed sewing supports. On some bindings with widely-spaced sewing supports they can be found used in pairs in which case each should be described separately as they may be made from different materials. The panel transverse lining is one of the most common types of spine lining, and was used in all European countries from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, though it was much less commonly used in France and Britain than elsewhere, even allowing for a general reluctance in Britain to use spine linings at all. There is a marked difference in the height of the linings within the panels formed by the sewing supports between northern and southern Europe. South of the Alps and in Spain, the linings will generally fill the entire height of the panels in which they are found (full-height transverse spine linings), whereas in Germany and the Low Countries, they are more likely to be much narrower, often filling less than 50% of the height of the panel (narrow transverse spine linings).
The stations at which the sewing thread passes from one gathering to another as the book is sewn. They will be found on both supported and unsupported structures and will occupy the stations closest to head and tail, or at each end of a pair of sewing holes as in Ethiopic bookbindings. This could be achieved in different ways, either as a kettlestitch or an unlinked or stitched change-over station. In many late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century books, the change-over stations were marked up with a single knife cut and kettlestitches worked over them were often pulled down into the knife cuts, which therefore becomes a sort of de facto kettle-stitch recess, into which the kettle stitch can almost disappear, though it would appear that this was not the intention. The stations at which the sewing thread passes from one gathering to another as the book is sewn. They will be found on both supported and unsupported structures and will occupy the stations closest to head and tail. Although they themselves are mostly unsupported, they can, on occasion, incorporate supports. Although usually hidden under the covers of bindings, the thread of the changeover stations on books with pierced supports will be visible on the outside of the pierced support and may therefore be visible on the outside of the binding. The term change-over station was first published by Pamela Spitzmueller (Spitzmueller 1982/3).