Etsy and Books Collide: Penguin's New Hand-Sewn Covers

The indie crafts movement meets the mainstream publishing industry in these colorful, high-thread-count book jackets

Emma_French FlapsEDIT.jpg
As a part of its Fall 2011 collection, Penguin plans to release these delightful covers as part of its Penguin Threads series. Inspired by the handmade craft craze that has proliferated on sites like Etsy, the publishing house commissioned artist Jillian Tamaki to design hand-sewn covers of three classics: Jane Austen's Emma, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, and Anna Sewell's Black Beauty.

Tamaki sketched the illustrations before stitching these designs with a needle and thread. The final covers are sculpt-embossed, maintaining some of the tactile texture of the original threads designs.

Although each book is new to the Penguin Classics Deluxe series, it seems Penguin chose these three books for various unrelated reasons. This will be the first standalone edition of Emma, this year marks the centennial of The Secret Garden's publication, and Black Beauty features a new foreword written by Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley.

Here are the three covers:

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And, the full book jackets:

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SecretGarden_French FlapsEDIT.jpg

Images: Courtesy of Penguin

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Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

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