Saddle stitching is a core service offering for most printers. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning saddle stitch work to give your operators, or trade binder, the best opportunity for success.
Saddle stitch signatures should be planned with a high folio lap (or lip) of at least ¼”. If the paper is available, extend the size of the lap up to 5/8”. When folding the signatures, make sure the folder operator achieves consistency with the size of the lap. Nothing will drive a saddle stitcher operator to frustration faster than a varying lap size that causes mis-feeds and dropped signatures.
If your project requires a foldout, gatefold or accordion (Z-fold) signature, plan for this form to be tack glued when folding, so that the signature does not come apart or unravel when feeding through the collator pocket. Allow at least 3/8” of foot trim margin (1/2” is better) for placement of the tack glue. This additional margin will help insure that all of the tack glue is removed during the trimming process.
If the saddle stitch project is to be re-folded after stitching, make sure that your planner and customer know that the stitches should not be planned to align with one another after the re-fold. By applying stitches in an offsetting position, the stitched area will be less subject to tearing or ripping due to undue stress.
Also, if the project is to be re-folded after stitching, keep in mind that the thicker the product, the higher the potential for push out, wrinkling or gusseting. This is not a phenomena that the bindery will be able to overcome and should be addressed ahead of production with your customer.
Finally, consider the grain direction of the cover. Planning for covers to print long grain (parallel to the spine), will help minimize cracking and marking during the cover feeding, folding and application process. If you must print a cover short grain (perpendicular to the spine), have the cover die scored to minimize the potential for cracking and distortion along the spine when it is folded.
A core value of Allied Bindery is to communicate on an on-going basis with our industry friends. Our objective is to share insight and observations considered valuable and helpful for our customers, helping them to provide an ever-increasing value proposition to their customers.
Allied Bindery is a premier trade bindery located in Madison Heights, Michigan, serving your bindery requirements for more than 20 years. Give us a call today and allow us to help you meet your business and service goals.