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Glue binding What is it?

In this article we will discuss glue binding, one of the most common and widely used types of binding

When printing a book, catalogue, magazine or any similar product, one of the most important aspects to take into account is the type of binding we want for our work, as this will determine its quality.

Types of perfect binding

Classic glue binding

Glued or perfect bind.

The pages of books or magazines are printed, folded, folded together and glued with a hot melt glue, EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). The spine is trimmed to 0.125″ to prepare it for glue application. This type of perfect binding is the most widely used in the industry.


  • It allows for quick production
  • It is a more economical method than other types of binding
  • It is ideal for magazines or one-off/quick-read publications
  • It results in a good looking product for the price


  • It produces a more fragile spine, making it more suitable for current publications that do not need to withstand frequent consultation over time
  • It has a limited shelf life
  • It is sensitive to temperature changes: the glue can reactivate or become brittle at very cold or very hot temperatures

Milled glue binding

The pages of the book, catalogue or magazine are printed, folded, folded together and glued with a hot melt glue, EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), without detaching the spine. The signatures have notches cut into the spine during folding. This type of perfect binding is the second most widely used in the industry.


  • Produces a very durable product
  • Produces a better result for two-page spreads than the other methods, as there is no compensation
    during binding imposition, as there is no need to compensate for the binding error margin.
  • It requires less space on a press sheet, which allows modifying the design and size of the press sheet to optimise production.
  • Press sheet size to optimise production
  • It allows cost savings during printing if the press sheet is optimised
  • The production cost is the same as the classic method


  • Requires precise folding, as any variation in folding may allow notches to become visible
  • Has a limited shelf life
  • Is sensitive to temperature changes: the glue may reactivate or become brittle at very cold or very hot

PUR-glued binding

PUR glued binding.
PUR binding

This method of perfect binding has become very popular since 2005, and is now commonly used.

This type of glue is very flexible and durable. The binding follows the same steps as the classic method, but using a stronger type of glue.

PUR glue has revolutionised the printing and binding industry.


  • Much more flexible than hot EVA glue
  • Offers the same production speed as the classic method
  • Uses a stable glue that does not reactivate in heat or become brittle in cold
  • It is ideal for jobs printed on coated paper with an incorrect grain direction for binding


  • It has a binding production cost that is 5-10% higher than the classic method
  • It requires a longer drying time
  • It is more fragile during the first 24 hours after production, which must be taken into account in urgent jobs

Stitched glued binding

Glued and stitched binding.

This is a high-quality production method, used for works such as dictionaries, bibles, product catalogues and high-end books.

The bound product is far superior in every respect. The signatures are assembled without the spine coming loose. They are mechanically stitched, which gives the final product an unparalleled durability and shelf life.


  • It is impossible for pages to fall out
  • It has greater flexibility
  • It is more durable in all respects


  • Requires longer production time than the other methods, as inserting, gathering and stitching are
    steps that must be performed before perfect binding
  • The production cost of the binding is approximately 50% higher than the classic method
  • The thread is visible in the centre of the signatures

On what kind of products is glue binding used?

Perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing one type of binding over another is whether we are printing a product that we want to last, such as a book, or something that will have a shorter shelf life, such as a magazine

  • Books
  • Catalogues
  • Magazines

If you want to discover other binding methods and different types of finishing, take a look at our binding, finishing or paper type categories, where you can find inspiration for your next print jobs.

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