Pig bristles

Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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das
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Re: Pig bristles

#51 Post by das » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:29 am

Alasdair,

The bundles I've gotten are around 1 1/2" to 2" diameter each. How many boar bristles is that? I dunno. In full-time use, picking out just the best, firmest bristles, a bundle of that size lasts me about a year or two, with maybe 30% left of ones that are too flimsy.

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Re: Pig bristles

#52 Post by amuckart » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:13 pm

Al,

Thank you for that, it really helps to know what sort of quantity to aim for.

Do you buy them by the kilo? I got a response from the chap at Indian Overseas Trading Co and he was talking in multi-kilo quantities, which is far more than I will ever need even if I am aiming to buy a lifetime's supply Image

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Re: Pig bristles

#53 Post by das » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:19 am

Alasdair,

I indeed do buy them 10+ kilos at a time; however, they usually send free samples, which might be enough for your occasional demos.

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Re: Pig bristles

#54 Post by eck » Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:26 am

Hello,
There seems to be so much information for american shoemakers on these forum but nothing for european shoemakers. Does anyone know a good seller of shoe supplies in europe? Someone that has good bristles? Isn't there a supplier that all the west end shoemakers use?

Cheers

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Re: Pig bristles

#55 Post by dw » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:30 am

Eckart,

What you have to do is "think outside the box" a little...

First, the amount of boars bristles being used in the shoe and boot industry is insignificant. As a consequence, you need to ask yourself "what other industry uses boars bristles?" Why, paint brushes of course. It has been a long time, but I bought a full kilo of prime, blond India boars bristles--9" long--from an international outfit that catered to the paint brush industry:

I don't know if they are still in business but try these folks...

Karl Rothlander & Co.
Gotenstrasse 21
Postfach 105428
D-2000 Hamburg 1, Germany

Second, almost everyone in the States, except the historical types, have gone to nylon monofilament fishing line in lieu of boar's bristles. It can be had in diameters that are similar to the best hog's bristles...or finer or heavier; some of the best of it can be split like a boars bristle; it can be cut longer or shorter than boars bristles; it is much, much stronger than the pig, and it is sterile.

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elstoof

Re: Pig bristles

#56 Post by elstoof » Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:47 pm

Algeos sell both natural and artificial bristles, you can order from the their website - www.algeos.com

However, you might want to ask them to send you a catalogue; they seem to have a much wider range in print than on the website.

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Re: Pig bristles

#57 Post by fclasse » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:00 am

Hi all - I'm planning to on switch to real boar bristles and have gotten in touch with the suppliers that D.A. Saguto has been so kind to reference. However, I'm being quoted around $250 per kg - does that sound about right? Assuming that there are about 10000 bristles per kilogram, that's about 2.5cents per bristle (but more like 3.5cents with a 70% yield).

Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#58 Post by das » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:18 pm

Francis,

That sounds on the high side but about right. I've never counted how many bristles come per kilo (c. 2 lbs.).

Be sure you ask for 8"+, "extra thick/stiff" or you may be disappointed, and that's a lot of money to loose on soft flimsy bristle Image

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Re: Pig bristles

#59 Post by romango » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:49 pm

A slightly different topic but....

I made a steel bristle with guitar E string and lead free solder. It's much better than the steel bristles I've purchased in the past and they're basically free (if you steal your sister's guitar string).

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Re: Pig bristles

#60 Post by lancepryor » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:43 am

Francis:

If you do go ahead and order, I'd be interested in buying some of the bristles from you to help defray your expense. I'd be interested in say 3.5 ounces worth (i.e. about 1/10 of your order). Let me know if you'd like to sell me some.

Lance

BTW, when I get a chance I'll weigh some that I have to see how many there are per ounce or per gram.

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Re: Pig bristles

#61 Post by lancepryor » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:37 am

Francis:

I endeavored to weigh the bristles I have. Based on my measurement (which, admittedly, may not be super accurate), I come up with more like 30,000 - 40,000 bristles per kg.

Lance

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Re: Pig bristles

#62 Post by fclasse » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:40 am

D.A. Saguto,

Many thanks - I just wanted to be sure that it was at least in the right ball park. =) Fortunately, he is willing to send 25g of samples before placing any orders so that I'll know exactly what I'm getting. Really looking forward to the bristles - from the one time I used them, they seem have a much higher stiffness to thickness ratio than typical monofilament line, yet maintain the needed flexibility. Plus, it's what the "old dead guys" used =)


Lance,

Certainly, it would be my pleasure. What I'll do is post some pics and commentary when the samples arrive and after I've sewn some shoes with them. I'd also be happy to help out with coordinating a bulk order if others are interested. To make life easy, Paypal would probably be the best way to handle reimbursement, but I'm open to mailed payment as well.


Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#63 Post by fclasse » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:42 am

Rick,

Interesting to know, especially if I run out of fishing line or bristles =)


Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#64 Post by dw » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:27 pm

Francis,
from the one time I used them, they seem have a much higher stiffness to thickness ratio than typical monofilament line, yet maintain the needed flexibility. Plus, it's what the "old dead guys" used


I've used both (although not from this source--several other sources however, esp. the one I mentioned above...Rothlander) and there are two things about this...

First, not all mono is created equal. There is hard mono and soft mono. The soft dominates the market but hard can often be found in flyfishing shops.

Second, using the mono I've used, I've not seen such a difference in stiffness that the bristles come off as clearly superior. What's more, one doesn't necessarily want stiffness. Once you get used to using a bristle, stiffness--the hallmark of needles--seems clumsy and inefficient.

Finally, it is always good to know and experience how the "dead guys" did it. At a certain point having a feel for what they did gives you insight into why they did it that way. And very often that leads to a better appreciation of all the peripheral techniques as well as the shortcomings of materials and techniques that seek to emulate the traditional ways especially in the context of "hurry-up.".

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Re: Pig bristles

#65 Post by dmcharg » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:20 am

I've tried both monofilament and pig bristle, and what I noticed the most was that, while you could make the mono any length you like, the mono is parallel (getting larger where the waxed end is attached) but the bristle tapers (thus the area of attachment is not so different to the thickness of the base of the bristle, so it will slip through the hole smoother. Good for doing ,say, 50spi Image . Also, the only bristles I've been able to get my hands on so far are about 3" long but I'm able to do all my sewing satisfactorily with them,from 'super fine' to sewing on soles and heels; though a friend who knows some wild pig shooters may be able to help me out with some big ones Image

Cheers
Duncan

ephraim

Re: Pig bristles

#66 Post by ephraim » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:30 pm

Dear Francis,

I am interested in going in with you on the real boar bristles. I second what Mr. Saguto says - most samples I see anymore are about 6"-6.5" and too thin. However, if you get a sample, I would ask you to consider sending me about an half-dozen to one dozen "average" bristles from the bunch. I'll give you my opinion on them from somebody who uses bristles every single day; and if they are satisfactory, I'm definitely willing to purchase part of the order and share the costs.

Please contact me ASAP. I need a bunch of these before the first week of June, and am ready to make forward steps toward that goal. My e-mail is boot_smith@hotmail.com, and we can correspond via e-mails for the details. That way, we won't bog down the Forum for nuts & bolts kinds of discussion. I look forward to hearing from you, and remain,

Yr. Humble Srvnt., &c.,

Brett Walker, Shoemaker
Williamsburg, Virginia

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Re: Pig bristles

#67 Post by fclasse » Mon May 03, 2010 10:52 am

Brett,

Excellent - I'll be sure to drop you a note. Some samples should already be on their way.


Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#68 Post by fclasse » Sun May 23, 2010 9:55 pm

Hi All,

Just took a moment to look at the 25g of samples that I just received. I chose some of the thickest of the bunch to make a few waxed ends, and they seem like they'll work swimmingly. Based on the sample set that I received, I would estimate that there are about 30-40 bristles per gram, which means about 30,000 to 40,000 bristles per kg (which is consistent with what others have posted here). However, as D.A. Saguto mentioned, though, there is a distribution in the usefulness of the bristles, and I'd like to elaborate on that here.

I used a sample size of 132 bristles (3.5g) which should be statistically representative of the 25g batch (about 14%). As a side note, of the 132u, 3% (4u) were white, and it seems that white bristles in general are of very good stiffness. I've grouped them into three categories as shown below:

Category 1: Robust Bristles (39.4%, 52u)
These are the robust, thick bristles which form a nice waxed end.

Category 2: Questionable Bristles (29.5%, 39u)
These are of medium thickness, and they might be acceptable for waxed ends used for very fine stitching.

Category 3: Flimsy Bristles (31.1%, 41u)
These bristles are too thin and flimsy to be useful for much. You might be able to find some that should actually have been in Category 2, but for the most part, these are scrap.

I'm pretty happy with the bristles received, so I'll be placing an order. However, since I can't quite afford 10kg (which is the minimum order), I had to negotiate for fewer and the price per kg is a bit higher ($300). So, speak up now if would like any! Lance mentioned that he'd like 100g of the bristles, and I'm already talking with Brett. Does anyone else fancy some bristles? Do let me know soon, as I'd like to place the order within the week (and the price might go down as well!).

Cheers,
Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#69 Post by lancepryor » Mon May 24, 2010 6:17 am

Francis:

I'll still take 100 g.

Thanks,
Lance

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Re: Pig bristles

#70 Post by dearbone » Mon May 24, 2010 7:03 am

Greetings Francis,

I will go in for 100 grams.

Thank you
Nasser

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Re: Pig bristles

#71 Post by athan_chilton » Mon May 24, 2010 7:24 am

I want to make sure I understand the use of pig bristle; these are used in place of a needle, in handsewing? Do you use them for welting only, or for handsewing, say, uppers? And is their use something I could teach myself? If so, I'd like to try them. Needles seem too large for fine sewing, like on an upper where you want tiny stitches.

neuraleanus

Re: Pig bristles

#72 Post by neuraleanus » Mon May 24, 2010 9:13 am

I want to make sure I understand the use of pig bristle; these are used in place of a needle, in handsewing? Do you use them for welting only, or for handsewing, say, uppers?

A pig bristle would be used to make tunnel stitching and edge seams, where ever the leather is not completely pierced through. I haven't been using these, but rather I use steel beading needles, the kind that is made from two pieces of stiff wire soldered at each end. These are techniques that are used more for period footwear than for modern shoes.

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Re: Pig bristles

#73 Post by lancepryor » Mon May 24, 2010 9:36 am

Athan:

Historically, I believe they have been used for closing uppers, as well as for inseaming and sewing on soles. If you look at my shoes posted in the gallery on Sept 2, 2009, you can see the apron seam, which was a 'split and lift' seam (ie. the leather is not fully pierced on the apron, the stitch runs parallel to the surface of the leather); also, the toe seam is a 'round closed' seam, where both pieces of leather are sewn with the hole parallel to the leather's surface (in this case, sewn from the flesh side). Sewing these types of seams definitely benefits from the use of a bristle, which is quite firm yet very thin, allowing you to find the holes pre-made in the leather by the awl. I should think a traditional needle, with an eye, would be considerably thicker where the thread is fed through the needle and then doubled back.

You can see a better picture of these seams by google-ing "edward green dover" and looking at some of the images which come from this search.

Lance

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Re: Pig bristles

#74 Post by fclasse » Mon May 24, 2010 9:58 am

Lance, Nasser,

I've got you down for 100g each. I'll be sure to send you an email with the final cost when all is ready.


All,

If you'd prefer to email me your request for bristles, that's fine too - just use the email address mentioned in my profile. ---------------deleted by admin-------------------

Reason: no prices associated with personal or commercial sales may be quoted on the Crispin Colloquy. If unclear on this issue, contact admin.

Francis

(Message edited by admin on May 24, 2010)

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Re: Pig bristles

#75 Post by athan_chilton » Mon May 24, 2010 10:30 am

Thanks, Lee and Lance.

Now I am sitting here wondering why, after decades of weaving with tiny glass beads, it never occurred to me that I might try using my really tiny bead needles for fine sewing on leather?? Thanks for the tip!

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