Pig bristles

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dw
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Re: Pig bristles

#76 Post by dw » Mon May 24, 2010 1:06 pm

Many people swear by steel bristles or beading needles...and if you like them and they work for you , that's all that is necessary.

But if you're looking for a reason, once you get the hang of using boar's bristles, the bristle will "turn a corner" and feed through an invisible hole far better than steel bristles. Simply because it is flexible.

Having said that I am sure that someone will tell me I just never got the hang of using steel...I use steel bristles on almost every boot or shoe so I suspect that misses the mark. But I will admit that I like and favour boars bristles or nylon bristles and am surely biased towards them.

Tight Stitches
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Re: Pig bristles

#77 Post by athan_chilton » Mon May 24, 2010 1:58 pm

I can envision that, and might concur that even the thinnest of flexible bead needles will only flex so much, and once it develops a flex or curve in one direction, it will not easily bend in any other direction, and may break. Eventually I hope to do mostly handsewing on my shoes, and when I get brave enough to try bristles, I will be most interested in how they behave.

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Re: Pig bristles

#78 Post by danfreeman » Thu May 27, 2010 5:17 pm

I, for one, have always used the steel bristles on boot and shoe welts, but results are the only thing that matters. Any method or tool which weakens the seam's strength, durability, or appearance, is worse than one which does not. For inseaming (I leave upper closing to superior, or at least more patient, craftsmen), steel produces results as good as those from natural--or nylon--bristles. For me, steel bristles are easier and faster to use, probably because I first learned to sew welts using them. You run the tip between thumbnail and fingertip to curl the end to the shape of the awl, inspecting it before each stitch; following the awl, it enters the hole and emerges through the welt, having barely touched the sides of the hole. An inch is pushed through, it is grasped; it flexes along its length as it is pulled through. This is the biggest difference between steel bristles and "real" bristles: sewing starts with the bristle entering the insole and coming out of the welt, followed by the other bristle entering the welt and being pulled out of the insole, before pulling both threads up--just the opposite of usual welt sewing, and hand sewing in general.
They are harder to find. Gotz made them for years. At first ten, then twenty, finally thirty dollars for the pack of fifty. Then the quality started to go down. The price went down, too, but it was no consolation. The latest bristles come unsoldered at the tips ("split ends&#34Image, and the wire seems much softer. They wouldn't be hard to make, but some effort and expense would be needed to do it right.
I have a small supply, and each is good enough to sew at least three, and usually five or six shoe or boot welts before the solder fails. The current, poor ones? One welt, if I'm lucky, and that's after rejecting a quarter of the pack.

So I'm trying to learn non-metal bristles. Thank you all for your help.

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Re: Pig bristles

#79 Post by fclasse » Thu May 27, 2010 5:55 pm

D.A. Saguto,

I hope that it isn't too untoward if I ask how your staff normally handles payment to your bristle suppliers; the agent at the Indian Overseas Trading Co. that I've been dealing with, Sundershan (SK) Sood, has requested that I wire transfer the full sum in advance of receipt of goods. If this is standard practice, then that's fine with me, but I thought it would be prudent to check. Many thanks!

Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#80 Post by jshepherd » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:56 am

Hi,

First time poster.

Regarding bristles, unless you are a purist and insist on using pig/boar bristles, here is a method using fishing line that works very well:

1. Make a tapered thread as usual. Make sure you have a long, even taper, ending in a single thread. Coat the taper with a wax/pitch ball.
2. Use sandpaper to roughen about 1.5 inches of the end of the nylon bristle.
3. Run the roughened end through a wax/pitch ball
4. Roll the tapered thread, starting at the rough end of the bristle until you get to the smooth section.
5. Reverse direction, rolling the thread back to the end.
6. Split the thread about an inch past the end of the bristle and pass the bristle through the opening.

I've welted many shoes using nylon bristles.

Another benefit is that the nylon bristles can be cut longer then pig bristles, making it easier to grip the bristles during welting.

Regards,

John

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Re: Pig bristles

#81 Post by dw » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:15 pm

John,


That's a good method and one that many of us use. Used to be that the British made nylon bristles specifically to replace boar's bristles and they came with about half the bristle "crimped" just as if someone had clamped the bristle in the jaws of a pair of lasting pincers. Too bad for the company because that's exactly what many people started doing..only using monofilament.

I cut my nylon bristles about 12" long and rough up about five inches of it. Just because boar's bristles were limited to 8" (at the longest doesn't mean we have to cut nylon bristles that short. I like a good long point on the bristle so I can get a good grip on them.

BTW, some brands of nylon monofilament can be split just like a boar's bristle can. And the taper of the thread rope twisted into the "legs."

Tight Stitches
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Re: Pig bristles

#82 Post by fclasse » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:50 pm

John,

Indeed, I also use monofilament (well, I stopped about two weeks ago =), and it does work very well. Plus, you can get it in varying thicknesses and stiffnesses as well. I have to admit, though, that there is a certain appeal in sewing historical shoes (which is my primary focus) using the tools, materials and techniques of the time period, which is the main reason for the interest in boar bristles. =)


Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#83 Post by fclasse » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:34 pm

Hello, all!

I just wanted to let everyone know that the shipment of boar bristles arrived today. I'll be getting in touch with those of you who requested some by the end of the weekend. If, for some reason, I do not, please do email me at francis DOT classe AT gmail DOT com!

My sincere thanks to D.A. Saguto for his generous sharing of sources and information - another great step (tee hee) forward for period shoemaking!


Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#84 Post by das » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:28 am

Francis,

You're most welcome, and best of luck "hairing" your threads.

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Re: Pig bristles

#85 Post by lancepryor » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:31 am

I just received my bristles from Francis, and I must say I am very happy with them.

I already had some bristles which I had been given by one of the Edward Green hand-closers. These new ones are a bit longer and comparable in substance. I don't even know if Francis has more available, but if anyone is interested in trying them, I would encourage you to contact Francis.

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Re: Pig bristles

#86 Post by fclasse » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:27 pm

I've still got a good amount available for those who would like them - just get in contact with me, and we'll bristle you up!

- Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#87 Post by dearbone » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:40 am

Francis,

The mailman just walked in the shop with a box of bristles,What a bundle, Thanks. A lot longer and firmer than i expected and that will work well.

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Nasser

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Re: Pig bristles

#88 Post by fclasse » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:04 pm

Great, glad to hear it!

Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#89 Post by fclasse » Wed May 23, 2012 11:06 am

Just to let everyone know that I'm still playing the role of "bristle dealer" =) If you're keen on some, do get in touch with me.

The power of the bristle compels you!


Francis

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Re: Pig bristles

#90 Post by lancepryor » Wed May 23, 2012 4:01 pm

I really enjoy sewing with these bristles.

Here is a post I made on this topic:

http://www.thehcc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=37356#p37356

Francis, thanks for making them available.

Lance

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Re: Pig bristles

#91 Post by dmcharg » Thu May 24, 2012 1:28 am

"I really enjoy sewing with these bristles"

Likewise myself, The bristles are great. I sort through them as I go and separate out the fine ones for the delicate upper seams. Even these are about 2-3X thicker and 3+ X longer than the bristles I used to use: keep those now for when I attempt 40+spi :^)

Duncan

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Re: Pig bristles

#92 Post by fclasse » Wed May 30, 2012 3:40 pm

Fantastic - I'm glad that they're working out for people! I have been thrilled with them myself, since they are flexible and finer than fishing line for the same rigidity. The only downside that I can tell is that they can be broken if tugged too hard, but you shouldn't have to force your stitches that hard =)

Francis

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