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ps0303

Nylon or polyester thread

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I am going to start machine sewing my holsters and I am wondering if I should use nylon or polyester thread.

What are you folks using?

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ps0303, I haven't sold a spool of polyester thread in years. Most everyone uses Bonded Nylon. Thanks, Steve

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I personally prefer Linhanyl 277 weight bonded nylon top and bottom.

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I personally prefer Linhanyl 277 weight bonded nylon top and bottom.

That's exactly the direction I am headed.. Thanks!

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Nylon

Depends on the machine. Nylon works fine in traditional single needle machines, but I would not use it in a needle and awl machine. Nylon has more stretch in it than polyester, and the tighter tensions on the needle and awl system don't like it.

Edited by CampbellRandall

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Depends on the machine. Nylon works fine in traditional single needle machines, but I would not use it in a needle and awl machine. Nylon has more stretch in it than polyester, and the tighter tensions on the needle and awl system don't like it.

I didn't know that. What brand/weight of thread are you running in your needle and awl machines?

I used to want a needle and awl machine after seeing some of the work they produce, but I really like being able to sew through the same stitching holes more than once. I decided that the walking foot single needle machines suit my needs much better, and as long as they are tensioned correctly they produce excellent results as well.

I'm also a big fan of the bonded nylon threads performance, and it isn't as toxic as the polyester if you are melting your thread ends (I know that a lot of folks just snip their threads close anyhow when running the needle and awl machines, so that might not be an issue).

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I didn't know that. What brand/weight of thread are you running in your needle and awl machines?

I used to want a needle and awl machine after seeing some of the work they produce, but I really like being able to sew through the same stitching holes more than once. I decided that the walking foot single needle machines suit my needs much better, and as long as they are tensioned correctly they produce excellent results as well.

Back stitching isn't a problem on a needle and awl machine.

Most of the leading holster manufacturers use our Campbell machines for their work, and they back stitch the holsters. The only difference is a Campbell dose not have reverse, so you simply lift the foot and restitch over the first few stitches. Cutting the thread shouldn't be a big concern unless the awl is perpendicular to the stitch line. If the awl is set parallel, it shouldn't cut the thread any more than a leather point needle. You can always sew to the side of the previous stitch, and use the same hole. Normally thread sizes 138 to 415 are used, but I have sewn as light as 69 and as heavy as 693. A needle and awl will make a cleaner stitch than a single needle (especially on the bottom), and can pull a much tighter stitch, especially at heavy weights.

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I use waxed 346 nylon . . . hand stitching . . .  Tippmann Boss . . . or any other leather sewing.

I seldom . . . emphasize seldom . . . use anything else.

May God bless,

Dwight

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I am surprised that no one has addressed this issue in response to this question. Although what feeds through your machine may have some bearing on making a decision, there is a more important factor to consider. IMHO, the product being made and its intended use should be the major consideration in making that decision. Nylon is an excellent thread, is very strong, has some flex/stretch to it, but is not UV resistant, or as weather resistant as Polyester thread.  Although strong, Polyester thread is not as strong as Nylon (in the same thread size) but has far superior UV and weather resistance than Nylon does.

So, if you are making concealed carry holsters that will rarely see the light of day or be exposed to the elements, and someones life may depend on the strength of the stitching, then Nylon would be the best choice.  If you are making Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) holsters, where the holsters are exposed to sunlight and the elements, you may want to use Polyester for better longevity. If using Polyester, and your are still concerned about strength, you could always use one size heavier thread.

Having said that, I make CAS rigs and use #277 Polyester thread top and bottom with a size 24 needle (I know spec say size 25 but I like the smaller holes) and have never had a problem with the thread feeding through my machine. Nor have I had any issues with thread breaking on my rigs.  If I am overly concerned about strength on a particular rig, such as where the tongue and billets are sewn to the belt, I may (not always) use #346 thread.

Bottom line if your item is going to get a lot of exposure to the sun and elements think Polyester before Nylon thread.

Edited by RemingtonSteel

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On 3/6/2021 at 12:49 PM, RemingtonSteel said:

I am surprised that no one has addressed this issue in response to this question. Although what feeds through your machine may have some bearing on making a decision, there is a more important factor to consider. IMHO, the product being made and its intended use should be the major consideration in making that decision. Nylon is an excellent thread, is very strong, has some flex/stretch to it, but is not UV resistant, or as weather resistant as Polyester thread.  Although strong, Polyester thread is not as strong as Nylon (in the same thread size) but has far superior UV and weather resistance than Nylon does.

So, if you are making concealed carry holsters that will rarely see the light of day or be exposed to the elements, and someones life may depend on the strength of the stitching, then Nylon would be the best choice.  If you are making Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) holsters, where the holsters are exposed to sunlight and the elements, you may want to use Polyester for better longevity. If using Polyester, and your are still concerned about strength, you could always use one size heavier thread.

Having said that, I make CAS rigs and use #277 Polyester thread top and bottom with a size 24 needle (I know spec say size 25 but I like the smaller holes) and have never had a problem with the thread feeding through my machine. Nor have I had any issues with thread breaking on my rigs.  If I am overly concerned about strength on a particular rig, such as where the tongue and billets are sewn to the belt, I may (not always) use #346 thread.

Bottom line if your item is going to get a lot of exposure to the sun and elements think Polyester before Nylon thread.

I've used both, but the last several years I've gone to polyester exclusively.  For all of the reasons you outlined above, plus more consistent machine performance over nylon.   

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On 2/8/2021 at 4:16 PM, Dwight said:

I use waxed 346 nylon . . . hand stitching . . .  Tippmann Boss . . . or any other leather sewing.

I seldom . . . emphasize seldom . . . use anything else.

May God bless,

Dwight

What’s your source for the waxed nylon thread? Tandy’s thread that specifically says “waxed” doesn’t list the size.  When you say “waxed nylon” do you really mean “bonded nylon“?

Edited by Brazo

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No . . . my bad . . . it's braided polyester . . . heavily waxed . . . works great.

hotheart10 is the seller's name on Ebay . . . 

May God bless,

Dwight

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4 hours ago, Dwight said:

No . . . my bad . . . it's braided polyester . . . heavily waxed . . . works great.

hotheart10 is the seller's name on Ebay . . . 

May God bless,

Dwight

Thanks, just ordered  a lb spool of 346. I got a Boss this week, your posts on it have been helpful.

Dan

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For what it's worth... I use bonded poly exclusively because:

  1. My machine seems to like it better.
  2. It holds knots a lot better than nylon.

 

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