Gathering involves bringing together individual sheets of paper to form a bundle or gather. Typically, this term is used when creating books or booklets from separate pages. The process begins by printing the pages on large sheets, which are then trimmed into smaller page sizes. These pages are then divided into groups known as gathers and sewn or glued together to complete the final book.
Furthermore, the gathering also refers to stacking individual sheets of paper to create a thicker document. For instance, if you stack 100 sheets of paper, it would be considered a “gather.”
Gathering holds excellent significance in preparing books for printing as it ensures that the pages are arranged correctly for readability. The first step involves folding the book’s pages into halves, called leaves. Then, these pages are grouped into signatures and stitched together. The signatures are further organized into larger groupings called quires before being appropriately gathered and bound with glue or stitches within the book’s cover.
It is worth noting that although gathering pertains mainly to traditional printed materials in today’s digital age, some still value its physicality, considering it an art form that may soon disappear.
As an essential stage in the printing process, accurate gathering is crucial. If you plan on printing a book or booklet, ensure you collaborate with experienced printers with expertise in proper gathering techniques.