By the late fifteenth century, the output of the European printing presses and the expansion of readership meant that many more books needed binding than before. Sewing techniques underwent the most significant change, with faster methods, such as sewing on recessed cords, devised to save time. Although the use of wooden boards continued in Germany, pasteboards came into use in other countries. Pasteboards are simply leaves of paper laminated together under pressure. These could be made quickly in the bindery, sometimes of leftover paper waste sheets, and cut easily. An added advantage was that no woodworking was required for the board lacing. Holes could be pierced in this softer material with a sharp tool, such as an awl, and the ends of the supports flattened into the boards with simple hammering. A variety of supported sewing methods is illustrated:
German, sixteenth century
Double cords.
Author: Agricola, Johann, 1494?-1566
Title: Drey hundert Gemeyner Sprichworter.
Published: Haguenau, France: Johann Setzer, 1529.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 3429.115.2
Spine height: 16 cm

French, sixteenth century
Double thongs.
Author: Xenophon
Title: La Cyropédie de Xenophon.
Published: Paris: Vincent Sertenas libraire, 1547.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: PA4496 .F7 1547
Spine height: 22 cm

German, eighteenth century
Single cords.
Author: Lloyd, Henry, ca. 1720-1783
Title: Geschichte des siebenjährigen Krieges in Deutschland.
Published: Berlin: Johann Friedrich Unger, 1785-1801.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 1580.175.59.01
Spine height: 25 cm

English, seventeenth century
Single thongs.
Author: Lambarde, William, 1536-1601
Title: Eirenarcha, or, Of the Office of the Iustices of Peace.
Published: London: Printed for the Companie of Stationers, 1619.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 7890.557.2
Spine height: 16 cm

Another view of the previous binding.

German, eighteenth century
Parchment strips.
Author: Schmid, Christian Heinrich, 1746-1800
Title: Anthologie der Deutschen.
Published: Frankfurt am Main: Engelhart Benjamin Schwickert, 1770.
Location: Rare Books (Extran)
Call number: 34292.825
Spine height: 17 cm

The economy of the lower end of the book trade is reflected in two examples.
French, eighteenth century
The calfskin covering has worn off this volume to reveal a quickly sewn textblock on thin recessed cords with cheap pasteboards.
Title: Recueil de cartes pour l'étude de l'histoire de France.
Published: Paris, Nyon l'aîné, 1787
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: Oversize 1504.752q
Spine height: 30 cm

English, seventeenth century
The ends of the thong sewing supports have been hammered flat on the inside of the boards; this binding is typical of the vast number of inexpensive English bindings from the sixteenth century.
Author: Coke, Edward, Sir, 1552-1634
Title: The third part of the institutes of the laws of England.
Edition: 3rd ed.
Published: London: Printed by J. Flesher for W. Lee and D. Pakeman, 1660.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 7890.261.34
Spine height: 29 cm