"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers.

The cloth is stretched over the boards, and is mainly to protect and shield the book from any damage. The cloth can then be printed on, embossed, or stamped for decorative purposes or with designs of book information details.

A decorative cloth binding can also consist of embroidery in rare cases. The terms ‘original cloth’, ‘publishers cloth’, and ‘edition cloth’ all refer to publications using the cloth binding technique for book collectors.