An-Car book binding in Barcelona

An-Car is the last of the mohicans. A family business named after two sisters (Ana and Carmen), this bastion of bookbinding is the last of its kind in Barcelona. Everything you need to make a book is here. And while that may seem overwhelming, a visit to this down-to-earth, friendly and cluttered shop proves encuadernación to be far more accessible than most of us imagine. There are no expensive or elaborate tools a binder needs. The essential list of materials: a needle, thread, a small saw, glue, and (perhaps the most representative tool) a plegadera (bone folder). These will cost a measly 15 Euros. A few more for nice paper and card (for a cover), maybe a copy of Vallado’s Manual de Encuadernación (16 Euros), and you’re on your way to real self-publishing. A better gift is hard to imagine. Once you master the basics, come back for dyed skins, hand-painted guardas, foundry type and more. We need to keep this last shop, this resource and this craft alive.

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