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Saddle Stitch Operator

Manage staff and make sure the quality of the product being sewn is good.

What does a Saddle Stitch Operator do?

The term “saddle stitch” might bring to mind horses or the padded part of a bike seat, but you’ve got it all wrong. As in, not-even-the-right-industry wrong. Saddle stitching is a form of bookbinding, and is used to publish short books or pamphlets.

Saddle stitching is different from other types of binding in that the pages of the book sit on top of each other. So imagine a stack of paper, fold it in half, and then sew stitches down the spine to form a book. This type of binding works best with short pieces of literature—those with 80 pages or less—and doesn’t leave room for a title on the spine. This means as a Saddle Stitch Operator, you end up working with things like catalogs, directories, and short programs.

Your job as a Saddle Stitch Operator is to oversee the production of a company’s saddle stitch operation. You manage the workers on the line, ensure that the correct amount of work is being produced each day, and in general, keep an eye out for quality.

Quality control is a big part of your job. As a Saddle Stitch Operator, you’re responsible for periodically doing quality checks (like, once an hour) and keeping detailed records of what you find. When you see something that isn’t up to par, you let the bindery leader know, and then work to fix it. This might mean repairing or cleaning a broken machine, or retraining a new employee.