Ledger Systems prides itself on the quality of our bookbinding skills. Our bookbinders are true master craftsmen, with over 90 years combined experience. No job too big or too small! From the beauty of leather hand crafted binding, to beautifully bound imitation leather binding, right down to the basic wiro-bound copies, we offer all the various binding options. Our current estimated turn around time on thesis binding is around 3 days.

Falcon Visitors Book

We also offer the service of printing your thesis on our Xerox digital printers, at very competitive and affordable pricing. We also do our gold foiling in-house.

Basically, a one-stop-shop.

Xerox D95A Printer
Foil Machine

The process is actually quite simple. You either bring your printed copies to our bindery, alternatively, supply your thesis on a flash drive and we will print your copies for you. We will discuss the various binding options with you, from the cover material required, to the gold foiling / lettering required on the front of the cover, and if required, the spine as well. Once you have made your choices, we can then start the binding process.

Firstly, we take each printed set of pages, attach front and back end-papers to the sheets and then we align all the pages. (This is called “knocking-up” the pages in our layman terms, to ensure that the book pages are 100% square). The two end papers are the sheets that get glued onto the front and back of the hard cover, once the book block has been back glued.

From here, we take the “knocked-up” book block to have the spine glued via our hotmelt back gluing / nipping machine. This process is entails roughing up the spine to ensure that the glue is “forced” between the spine pages, so that you book won’t fall apart and will be extremely durable.

Book Binding Pages Stacked

Once the book blocks have been through this back-gluing process, they are left for a while for the glue to cure and dry. The last process on the book blocks is to glue a strip of binding Mull over the spine area, and onto the end-papers. This not only strengthens the binding on the spine, but also gives strength to the end-papers that are eventually cased into the book covers. We can then add the head and tails bands, and a ribbon if required.

The next step is to take one of the book blocks to determine the size and measurements of the hard covers. The cover boards we use for our books are generally around 1800mic to 2200mic thickness. (1.8mm to 2.2mm in thickness). This ensures that the covers are strong and robust. We guillotine the boards to the correct size and then slice and cut the covering material to suit. We then use a cold glue, applied by a brush, onto the cover material, then carefully position the boards and spine piece onto the material, turn in the edges and corners and finally rub down these turned-in covers to remove any bumps or ripples. The covers are then placed in a book-press to dry and cure.

Once the covers have cured, we can start preparing the foiling for the front (and spine). We still make use of the old “Ludlow” typesetting for the type that is used for the foiling process.

Book Binding Gold Foil Rolls

This “type” then gets inserted into our foiling machine, and we start the make-ready process for the foiling onto the covers. The foiling machine needs to reach the correct temperature to ensure that the foil adheres to the cover material. As soon as this optimum temperature has been reached, we take a mock cover and foil onto this to see that we are completely satisfied with the end result. We can then proceed to foil the covers.


When the foiling process is completed, we can then get the book blocks ready for the “casing-in” process. We only use environmentally friendly adhesives throughout all our binding processes.

The cold glue is carefully applied to the outside of the back endpaper, and then positioned onto the inside back cover and then gently rubbed down to remove any air bubbles. The book is then rotated, and the same applied to the outside of the front endpaper. Any excess glue is immediately wiped off the book cover and block. The books are then placed in a book press until completely dried. This is done to ensure that the book covers don’t warp and buckle. Once we are satisfied that the glue has cured and dried properly, the books are then removed from the book press.

The final process is to make sure that the books are clean and free from any excess glue, before they are given the final quality inspection. We are sure that you will be extremely proud of the final product that will also justify all your hard work and effort it has taken, to get to this final stage. All that is left to say, is “Good Luck!”