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Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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Re: Thread

#576 Post by dearbone » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:52 pm

Jon,

I didn't know you were a convert to this propaganda ,Tony will be jumping out of his grave to hear that,Nasser is using some ready made thread,but i think he will understand and forgive me under the circumstances, Don't you think?

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Re: Thread

#577 Post by jon_g » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Twisting and waxing thread is a part of the romance of this craft that caused me to fall in love with it. I'll always keep a little linen and hemp around to use.

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Re: Thread

#578 Post by dw » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:00 pm

^+100

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Re: Thread

#579 Post by tjburr » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:45 pm

I was holding a conversation with a friend this weekend at an Irish Festival in Dallas, which spurred me to do some research on Irish linen last night and was greatly depressed to hear the trend of not making linen thread in Ireland.

I did however come across a site which made me wonder if the thread could be used for boots. Has anyone tried this brand of thread? Does bookmaking require similar type thread to that used for shoes/boots?

UnitCost, http://www.fineartstore.com/Catalog/tabid/365/List/1/CategoryID/22192/Level/a/De fault.aspx?SortField=UnitCost,UnitCost

I have used the Teklon but have not used irish linen, so I did not even know what to look for.

Terry

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#580 Post by dw » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:15 pm

Terry,

I suspect that linen is still being produced in Ireland although the great Irish linen mills have mostly all shut their doors.

Linen thread such as Barbour's Red Hand is available and some of it must come from Ireland. But the real issue is, and has been for some time, the length of the "staple"--the individual fibers that are spun into yarn.

I have seen raw flax fibers (from which linen yarn is/can be made) that were very realistically 36" long or longer. My wife spins and I've seen this with my own two eyes. But the Red Hand has a staple that runs between one and three inches, max. And even the Campbell's vintage yarn that I have, has a staple not much above 6", if that.

I suspect that the stuff you're looking at is closer to the Red Hand than to the Campbell's.

More importantly...what is the cordage waxed with? If paraffin or beeswax, it's not much good for inseaming and would be difficult if not impossible to strand out and fray, much less adhere to a bristle.

Besides part of the "romance" is making and using the wax---the smell of it, the taste of it on your Doritos.

Like Jon, I love using linen thread and real, honest to goodness, boar's bristles...but nowadays more as a reminder of where we've come from than a practical option.

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#581 Post by dw » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:18 am

All,

Some time ago there was a discussion/question here about silk thread.

Threads Magazine has a very informative article in their Feb/Mar issue regarding the manufacture and availability of silk thread.

I won't get too deep into it but fundamentally silk thread for machine use is available in several weights--100(thinnest) 50 (perhaps a common weight) as well as 30 and 16 (considered ornamental weights).

I am not sure how those designations compare to the old A, B, C D weights of bygone days but the author of the article says that she runs a 100 weight in her machine with a size 70 needle. So I'm thinking the 100 weight silk is comparable to a size "A" or a #33 in current nylon parlance. No idea if that's correct or not.

The author goes on to state that contrary to any misconceptions or urban myth, if a "Z" twist thread is specified it will flow through a swing machine with no snags or problems.

Another important point made in the article is that, for strength, a "filament" silk is absolutely necessary.

There are several sources listed in the article but the one I fixated on was YLI YLI website. YLI offers a wide range of colours in 100 and 50 weights. YLI specifies its threads are filament.

ylicorp@ylicorp.com

For those who dislike synthetics (ahem, Nasser Image ) this might be the ticket.

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Re: Thread

#582 Post by dearbone » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:01 am

DW,Well,Thank you sharing that,if we can find silk thread thin enough for our type sewing machines,That will be ideal,I have an old gold color two strands of silk thread in Z twist,a little thick for the sewing machine but perfect for hand sewing,I undo the 2 strands and undo/open one strand and there were 100-ply or more running through the one,so thin they were difficult to single out to see or count,so strong i could not break,I guess that testifies it is pure silk. Power to the organic materials vs synthetics Image.

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Re: Thread

#583 Post by jesselee » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:14 am

Nasser

I'm with you. Natural fiber threads are the best. I have used silk thread for hand stitching women's 19th century cloth (satin) shoes and I swear its stronger than linen. Barbours linen cord is still the best thread for the money, amount, strength, wearability. I tried a synthetic cord (equal to about a 5 cord)on my J and R and while the stitch was nice, the stuff just can't be waxed and hold tight and you have to back stitch the ends by hand.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Thread

#584 Post by dw » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:32 am

Jesse,

According to this article, you need an "S" twist for hand stitching or the thread will "snag" on itself as each strand passes the other. (I can't confirm that as I'm no expert in this regard...just passing on the info.)

That said there was one company listed in the article that offered 30 weight in about six colours. From what I recall of the article, 30 weight (or maybe it was the 16 ) could be up to ten times heavier than 100 weight.

Nasser,

As for strength, no, I think it is the fact that your thread may be filament silk that makes it so strong. The article details how filament silk is made from one unbroken strand of silk carefully unwound/unspooled from the cocoon. Other types of silk thread may be comprised of short strands twisted together and such thread will not be nearly as strong. A lot like modern linen yarn...the shorter the staple the weaker the thread.

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Re: Thread

#585 Post by dearbone » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:01 am

JesseLee,

I am keeping my spool of silk for cloth sewing too,Maybe i will make a pair of cloth shoes and get to use the silk thread for old times sake.

DW,

I think now i understand what you meant by "filament",According to your description of it,my spool is filament,I thought it meant pure silk vs synthetic silk? but unwound cocoons carefully,now that's something i like to watch,I watched spiders weave,but unwound it? that's worse than hair spiting,Silk producing is indeed an ancient art.

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Re: Thread

#586 Post by dearbone » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:06 am

DW,

What do you think the article meant by S and Z twist?,Is it a reference to right and left twist or something different?

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#587 Post by dw » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:16 am

Nasser,

Yes, left and right twist. I think I am correct in saying that a right twist is the same as an "S" twist.

But Nasser, with 80 colours available at the YLI site above, and running roughly $5.00 for a small spool, why don't you sew leather shoes with silk as well?

Back before the comet, bootmakers used silk thread to both assemble and do decorative stitching on the tops of the boots. And when I think about it, I can't imagine what else would have been used...aside from linen and then only for relatively coarse work...before nylon came into being.

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Re: Thread

#588 Post by dw » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:26 am

PS...here is another link to an online source for silk thread, machine/"Z" twist. 170+ colours in size 50 and 73 colours in size 30.

Phone number 801-521-3252, open Saturdays too.

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Re: Thread

#589 Post by elfn » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:42 am

I'm a quilter. It's common knowledge among quilters that US thread spins one direction and European thread spins the other. When I applique, if the thread is a European product I knot the loose end. If it's a US thread I knot the spool end. To do it differently causes the thread snarls and form knots. If I forget, or the thread is already on a bobbin and being dispensed from there and I knot the wrong end, I'll spin the needle to undo the twists that form every few stitches. Next needle of thread gets knotted on the other end.

There are two messages here. If you're using a single thread and two needles, one of the ends will be inclined to twist into a snarl. If I have a specialty thread that keeps trying to snarl when using in my machine, I rewind the thread onto another spool to use it in the machine.

I hope this helps.

2008 Koi Pond Web Quilt

I have a lot of old (wood) spools of silk thread that are a really nice weight for hand sewing shoes. Good thread is good thread, and the silk thread doesn't age like the cotton thread does.

Nori

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Re: Thread

#590 Post by dearbone » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:22 pm

DW,

The purpose of my inquiry is to find the correct weight of the silk thread for machine sewing and thanks for the tips,I think #50 & 30 might be worth trying,anything close to 69 bonded nylon which i mostly use is a good start. I think i am going to order few spools to give it a try.

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#591 Post by dw » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:56 pm

Nasser,

Yes, and I will be most interested in what you think after having given it a try. I have emailed both the above-mentioned sources looking for some guidance regarding size but have no response as yet.

I generally use size 46(?) bonded nylon. The way I was taught, the most important issue is thread size relative to needle size. Too big a needle relative to thread size and you've got a hole in the leather that is not filled. Too small and the thread jams up in the needle hole. Stringing a needle on a short section of thread and then seeing if it will slide easily from one end to the other is a pretty good test of whether the needle is big enough for the thread. But it doesn't say much about whether the thread is big enough for the needle.

BTW...and this is something that really interests me...silk has a peculiar luster that picks up and reflects the colour that surrounds it. What that means is that if you are sewing a dark brown leather, for instance, you don't need to match the colour perfectly because even a lighter brown thread will reflect the dark brown.

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(Message edited by admin on March 14, 2011)

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Re: Thread

#592 Post by dearbone » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:48 pm

I certainly will let you know how the silk thread works when i get some,you are correct about the relation between thread size and needle size but i personally never had much of an issue with that,#69 nylon thread will works best with #18 needle size and sometimes #16 needle.

I was hesitant to say this,But i think silk thread will look great on boot legs,either for inlays, outlays or your motifs.Oh fine leather,where have you gone to complement this silk thread.

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Re: Thread

#593 Post by jesselee » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:22 pm

DW

Thanks for that. I believe I will try some silk thread. Only heard of it over the years, never tried it.

Nasser

I'll be interested in konwing your results. I have hand stitched 19th century gentleman's shirts with silk thread and it sews wonderfully and you can get the tiniest stitches ever and they hold tight.

I'll be checking this out. May be nice to do some fancy top stitching with silk thread on my 1870's-1890's boots. I know they used it. Now to get used to the thread sizes...

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Thread

#594 Post by dw » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:56 am

Just a quick update...I received an email from one of the sources I contacted (thesewingparlour.com) and from the advice offered I suspect that the 50 wt. is roughly equivalent to a size "A" in the old silk designation. If I'm correct, this would be smaller than a 33 bonded nylon and probably be suitable for a size 70 or smaller needle.

By that same standard, the 30 wt. would be closer to a size "D" in the old silk nomenclature or somewhere between a 46 and a 69 in the nylon...closer to the 69.

Still guessing--I haven't seen any in person.

FWIW...

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Re: Thread

#595 Post by sorrell » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:18 am

DW,
So in other words there's nothing comparable to the size 33 or B thread?
Are you being sent samples?

Lisa

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Re: Thread

#596 Post by dw » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:15 am

Lisa,

I am being sent some sample strands, but, so far and from everything I've been given to understand, there are no "in-betweens". So a close equivalent of the 33 is probably not in the works.

That said, several people...the author of the article as well as another..have said (or implied) that they usually use 50 weight in their home sewing machines in lieu of something like a standard poly/cotton or mercerized thread.

If it's inlay work on thin leathers, the 50wt might not only be the only alternative, it might be as good as a size 33 nylon especially if finesse is your goal.

Again, as with all "new" sources/materials, the possibilities have yet to be fully explored and much of what I'm saying here is speculation...take it with a grain of salt.

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Re: Thread

#597 Post by dw » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:52 am

Lisa, all,

I got the samples from the Sewing Parlour...

I have to say that I don't think any of the weights mentioned correspond exactly to the old Gudbrod (or what I have mostly--Holland) letter sizes.

The 50wt. seems to be a tidge smaller than the old "A".

The 30 wt seems to be heavier than the old "B". Probably closer, in fact, to a "C" or a size 46 in the bonded nylon.

The 16wt looks to be almost an "E".

I would use the 30wt in a heartbeat for assembly and top stitching. I think the 50 wt would be fine for inlay work on 'roo and kid if the needle size were reduced to size 70....what's that? a 10?

Hope that helps...

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Re: Thread

#598 Post by dw » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:08 pm

OK...here's an interesting thing...

I just compared a size 33 bonded nylon with the 50wt silk. The nylon is smaller than the old "B" silk and a tiny bit larger than the 50wt.

The size 46 bonded nylon is just a hair smaller than the 30 wt silk if both are stretched taut. And a 69 bonded nylon is almost a dead ringer for the 30 wt silk if both are stretched taut.

Now, I don't know how any of that helps but clearly if one is going to use silk in this day and age one is going to have to throw out all the old preconceptions--it's all about needle sizes anyway, always has been.

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Re: Thread

#599 Post by dearbone » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:05 pm

DW, What is the name of the company your are corresponding with/received your sample threads from? I am trying to contact the co in SC but kept missing the customer service person.

What is meant by "stretched taut"?How is it done? Thank you.

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#600 Post by dw » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:52 pm

Nasser,

The Sewing Parlour...there's a link and phone number above in my 12 March post made at 10:26 am.

info@thesewingparlour.com

Stretched taut...the silk has a certain "loft", the bonded nylon is sealed. When you pull the silk tight, anchored at one end, it seems to get thinner.

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