Our workshop

After being located more than a quarter of a century in the historic site Begijnhof in Diest, on the 1st of July 2015 we moved our studio to the Statiestraat 40, a lively neighborhood situated in the middle of the station and the Market square.

After 8 months of restoring the 17th century building, situated in the Heilige Geeststraat 7 in the Begijnhof, the home bindery named “Handboekbinderij – Restauratieatelier Jan Camps" opened.

In January 1995 Julia, in the meantime Misses Camps, came to work in the studio, where she also received her training as bookbinder – restorer of old books and paper.

Traditional hand bookkbinding


Art Bindings

In September 1999 the studio changed of name to “Hanboekbinderij – Restauratieatelier J. – J. Camps" which stands for “Jan – Julia".

Clients are welcome after appointment from Thuesday until Sunday.

Creating artbindings for exhibitions or bookbinding competitions are one of our spare – time pleasures.

traditional hand bookbinding

We bind:

- Magazines, newspapers, ledgers, journals etc.

- Quarter – half – and three – quarter leather bindings as well as full leather bindings with or without decoration.

- We design and carry out contemporary bindings in paper, cloth, leather and parchment.



- Deacidification and cleaning.
- Infilling losses.
- Bleaching.

- Reconstruction of various forms of headbands.
- Reattaching headbands.

- Restoration of different sorts of paper and wooden boards.

- Working with leather dressings.
- Repairing leather joints.
- Rebacking.

- Cleaning.
- Softening.

Custom boxes:

The cost of a restoration depends on the degree of damage. A note describing the work done is made for each restored book. It includes a description of the condition of the book when it arrives in our workshop as well as the undertaken treatments.
Features which will be covered by the restoration will be photographed.

Records of repairs and photographs of restorations carried out in our workshop can be looked in after appointment.

Art Bindings

Designing and creating contemporary bindings, competing in bookbindingcontests and participating in exhibitions is an important aspect of bookbinding.

When designing and creating an artbinding you try to push the limits of the used materials, bindingmethods and the decoration techniques as well as you push yourself beyond your own limits. This is a way of working which stands in total contrast with the limitation of the traditional way of bookbinding.

The binding, also the artbinding, has to serve in the first place as a protector of the book, and the decoration or the designer must not take the upper-hand on the content of the whole.

The choice of the book which is to be bound, can be a good text, beautifully illustrated in a limited and numbered edition or a unique, handwritten copy.

The challenge when entering a bookbinding competition is to get your book to stand out from the many other competitors and to grasp the attention of the judges.
The ideal jury consists of a collectiontrustee, a bookbinder and a sculpting artist who is familiar with the bookbindingtrade.

The collectiontrustee should maintain the critical view on what is alive in the world of contemporary bookbinding today.

Having a binder in the jury is obvious, the sculpting artist advises his collegue jurymembers when the design is the matter of discussion.

Through the years our bindings have earned a place in the collections of both bibliophiles and institutes.


During these seminars all sorts of bookbinding technics are studied and executed in every detail.
Depending on the subject, the seminar is taught by Jan Camps alone, or together with one or more professional tutors.
The seminars are always organised in a room within the walls of the historical Beguinage, a piece of UNESCO world heritage in Diest.
The ‘Engramdays’ offer students the possibility to discover new technics or refine their knowledge in a small group unther supervision of professional teachers.

Statiestraat 40 - B-3290 DIEST - 0032 478 11 22 04 - info@boekbinderij-camps.be