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Left Twist, Right Twist?

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I have spent hours and hours reading threads on threads!! It seems I purchased a new spool of Barbours #6 Natural Unwaxed LEFT twist linen thread. After lots of different posts I believe I should have bought RIGHT twist since I am right handed. Is there any chance of a Lefty out there that has a spool of Right twist 5 or 6 thread that would be willing to trade. there is about 2 ft missing off of this roll, but I'm not sure I want to wrangler this spool for as long as it will last me!! Or maybe someone that is getting ready to order left would order right and swap. I can't afford to buy another spool and have this one too. I am hoping someone out there can help me on this one. By the way I boulght this off and individual so can't return it, it is in the original box and bag. Thanhks

Paul

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Left and right twist are noted that way for sewing machine use...not hand sewing.

Some people will try to claim it makes a difference for hand sewing, but they would be wrong. Every experienced leatherworker.net I know that sews by hand has told me it doesn't matter and I've personally used left/right twist thread for hand sewing and it doesn't make any difference to me either.

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The thread twisting only matters when you are using a sewing machine for the stitching. This from the European and the US machines feeds the thread diffrently. When it comes to handstitching, then the twisting of the thread does not matter. Just get what you like, make sure that you got the right thickness of the thread vs. the SPI that you are using, wax it up and just go ahead. :)

Edited by Camerius

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That's weird! I was just reading thread threads last night on this very subject for the same reason. I've always just used my machine thread for handsewing, which is left twist. BUT I do think there is something to the right twist theory. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with being right handed or not, but I've noticed for years that sometimes the thread will look like it's un-twisting in the stich line. I have some right twist at the shop in a box somewhere that I'm going to try today. I would like to hear from guys like Keith Siedel on this one, who does the prettiest job of handsewing his cantle bindings.

Edited by Big Sioux Saddlery

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Big Sioux ~ I can recall some thing like this happening to me, but I wonder something. Could the direction of your sewing having something to with it? May I ask you for a favor. When you try it out......can you sew in both directions? In another words, sew the project towards you and away from you with that same thread. Maybe there is a key to all of this in there. Thanks.

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Clearly some of you haven't done a complete search in the forum. Try this link, http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=19465 on the exact subject.

Also search for "Jimsaddler". He was once a very regular participant to the forum and has great knowledge. I learned a lot from his posts and comments.

Cheers.

That is Exactly the thread I am refering to! If fact "Jimsaddler" is in that thread and states that right-handed people should use right twist.

God Bless America

Paul

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Well, I found my right twist, 6 cord and I spent a couple hours fiddling around yesterday. As I had no left twist 6 cord, it's not an "apples to apples" comparison. I had to use 7 cord left twist. King's X, I have thought exactly that before, that not only the direction, but the manner in which the needles are inserted through the holes, in addition to exactly what you do with the threads (throw over, or not throw over) may have something to do with the unraveling issue. All of these factors will certainly affect stitch appearance. In my experiment yesterday, I sewed in one direction only, toward me, and did NOT throw over. I hold my awl in my right hand, and put the left hand needle through first, putting the right hand needle under it as it comes through, so essentially, when I pull the stitch, the (now) right hand thread is on the bottom on the front of the work. Hope everyone's still with me, because I believe any changes could affect the outcome. Anyway, what I found is there is a definite tendency for the left twist to loosen. I'm not talking about coming apart after I sew 6 inches, but it was visibly looser in the finished stitch line than the right twist. In fact, I could see the action of right twist tightening as I'd pull the stitch, and the left twist did not do that. When I was done and cut off the excess threads, the remaining left twist thread was much straighter and looser than when I had started. Not so with the right twist. Yes Lippy I did read posts in which Jimsaddler commented but with so many others saying it makes no difference, I wanted to do a side by side comparison and see for myself. Also, I'm still not sure of the exact reason behind this whole issue. I do know that there is a marked difference, and the longer the stitch line, the more apparent the unraveling. It had been years since I sewed with linen. It took some getting used to. First, one has to be much more careful not to let your excess thread pick up any dirt. My shop is never "eat off the floor clean", but nylon just won't pick up and hold the dirt like waxed linen. Also, there's more preparation with the linen, but I found it rather relaxing and enjoyable to prepare the threads. Sometimes, I think that those of us that are trying to make a living in the shop get so caught up in having to make X amount of money in X amount of hours every day, that we loose sight of why we started doing leatherwork in the first place. It becomes a job, to a certain extent, instead of the passion that it once was. Anyway, prepping those threads kind of made me think of that.

So, I guess I made a short story long, but from now on, I will be using right twist for hand sewing. For those that think it makes no difference, you may be right when using the method you use. KIng's X if I have time today, I will change things up a little and see what happens. Have a great day everyone!

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If you think about it, it probably makes sense that twist could be a factor for some people and not for others. It's a pretty easy thing to, even without knowing it, twist the needle and thread in your hand as you are pulling or even when re-positioning the needle. Since people do not necessarily stitch the same way, some might be more prone to twist clockwise and others counterclockwise which would cause the thread to tighten or loosen depending on which type. Others could twist one way with one hand and the other way with the other hand which would negate the thread twist.

Bill

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Clearly some of you haven't done a complete search in the forum. Try this link, http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=19465 on the exact subject.

Also search for "Jimsaddler". He was once a very regular participant to the forum and has great knowledge. I learned a lot from his posts and comments.

Cheers.

I have read that thread, and too asked some ol' timers about this matter, whom told me that it did not matter which way the thread was twisted unless you were using a sewing machine, and if this happened to be an European or US made model. Now, being me, I trust their word as they have a longer history and knowledge about what they are doing than me, so hence my answer.

If it's wrong, then I would like to know, but I don't think I can change those ol' timers stand though...

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Camerius, please don't take my little experiment to mean that I am saying you are wrong! On the contrary; all it proved was that in the manner in which I sewed the sample, the left twist un-twisted and the right twist didn't. I do believe that given a different sequence of inserting the needles and completing the stitch may very well give different results. I try to be very careful in making generalizations that state one way is the only way and everything else is wrong. There are just too many variables in our type of work to say that one way is the only way. The older I get the more I realize this is true of many things in life:)

Bill, I don't think it is so much what the handler does with the thread in his hands, as it is the way the thread passes through the hole and draws tight over the other thread that makes the difference. I'm still not sure what exactly it is at which point that affects the twist, but it's the method and sequence. A left handed stitcher (help me out here lefties) would do things in reverse possibly than a right handed person, hence the theory that a leftie needs left twist. And I don't always sew in the manner in which I did my little experiment. Like I said above, and I don't know if it will be today, but I plan to mix things up a bit and see what happens.

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No worries, Big Sioux. I have no problem being told that I'm wrong at all. I just want to know why I'm wrong, if it so happens, with an informed and logical answer that I can learn and grow from. :)

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Big Sioux many thanks for doing the extra testing.

FYI, if you read "Jimsaddler's" profile it states he is the "President of The Saddle & Harness Maker Association of Australia" with an interest in hand sewing. Even before I knew his position and history he seemed to always offer good advice and comments.

Happy sewing and long live this forum.

Cheers!

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I appreciate the experiment. It really doesn't matter. I buy the same thread and sew the same way (different from when I started). I haven't had any problems to date. Just thought this thread was interesting.

Thanks again!

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On 6/25/2014 at 6:56 AM, LTC said:

Left and right twist are noted that way for sewing machine use...not hand sewing.

Some people will try to claim it makes a difference for hand sewing, but they would be wrong. Every experienced leatherworker.net I know that sews by hand has told me it doesn't matter and I've personally used left/right twist thread for hand sewing and it doesn't make any difference to me either.

I can only speak for myself. 

And what I will say is that it definitely makes a difference.

I was always wondering why my stitches somehow seem to lose shape..I have CLOSELY compared the thread on the reel and one the stitched article and I for sure can see the difference .Of course if one is using braided tiger thread etc then it makes no difference.

Did you find out where S twist thread can be acquired.?

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On 6/26/2014 at 1:20 PM, Big Sioux Saddlery said:

Well, I found my right twist, 6 cord and I spent a couple hours fiddling around yesterday. As I had no left twist 6 cord, it's not an "apples to apples" comparison. I had to use 7 cord left twist. King's X, I have thought exactly that before, that not only the direction, but the manner in which the needles are inserted through the holes, in addition to exactly what you do with the threads (throw over, or not throw over) may have something to do with the unraveling issue. All of these factors will certainly affect stitch appearance. In my experiment yesterday, I sewed in one direction only, toward me, and did NOT throw over. I hold my awl in my right hand, and put the left hand needle through first, putting the right hand needle under it as it comes through, so essentially, when I pull the stitch, the (now) right hand thread is on the bottom on the front of the work. Hope everyone's still with me, because I believe any changes could affect the outcome. Anyway, what I found is there is a definite tendency for the left twist to loosen. I'm not talking about coming apart after I sew 6 inches, but it was visibly looser in the finished stitch line than the right twist. In fact, I could see the action of right twist tightening as I'd pull the stitch, and the left twist did not do that. When I was done and cut off the excess threads, the remaining left twist thread was much straighter and looser than when I had started. Not so with the right twist. Yes Lippy I did read posts in which Jimsaddler commented but with so many others saying it makes no difference, I wanted to do a side by side comparison and see for myself. Also, I'm still not sure of the exact reason behind this whole issue. I do know that there is a marked difference, and the longer the stitch line, the more apparent the unraveling. It had been years since I sewed with linen. It took some getting used to. First, one has to be much more careful not to let your excess thread pick up any dirt. My shop is never "eat off the floor clean", but nylon just won't pick up and hold the dirt like waxed linen. Also, there's more preparation with the linen, but I found it rather relaxing and enjoyable to prepare the threads. Sometimes, I think that those of us that are trying to make a living in the shop get so caught up in having to make X amount of money in X amount of hours every day, that we loose sight of why we started doing leatherwork in the first place. It becomes a job, to a certain extent, instead of the passion that it once was. Anyway, prepping those threads kind of made me think of that.

So, I guess I made a short story long, but from now on, I will be using right twist for hand sewing. For those that think it makes no difference, you may be right when using the method you use. KIng's X if I have time today, I will change things up a little and see what happens. Have a great day everyone!

People who state it makes no difference may not be able (for whatever reason) to see the detail..

I mean its very very plain to see.

First time I really saw it was from the stitching in my sofa.I was wondering why my handstitched items'  bonded nylon thread had the twist detail running in a different direction . Almost unnatural.Its then I decided to research this..Once you have spotted it , its like a eureka moment...

I am now having to revise the way I stitch to accommodate the Z twist as I cant seem to find S twist..

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I think I bought my right twist linen from Pilgrim years and years ago.

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Campbell Randall Machinery has some right twist in Barbour's linen thread in different cord sizes. I just ordered some from them. 

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4 hours ago, jrmysell said:

Campbell Randall Machinery has some right twist in Barbour's linen thread in different cord sizes. I just ordered some from them. 

ok thanks alot for this info.

Any ideas re bonded nylon..?

I have tried so many places.

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19 hours ago, Sticks said:

ok thanks alot for this info.

Any ideas re bonded nylon..?

I have tried so many places.

Don't know about the bonded. But for anyone interested, Rocky Mountain Leather Supply has Tiger thread in most (may be all) colors, and different sizes, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2mm. And they have the different sizes of John James Harness Needles. They are a U.S. source, which I know doesn't help you being in the UK, but for everybody else interested in the states. 

Edited by jrmysell

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Does anyone have up close photos that illustrate this phenomenon of twist going in the right direction vs. twist going in the wrong direction?  This is a detail I have not noted myself, maybe I've been lucky and used the correct twist for my particular stitching style, or maybe I just didn't know what I should be looking for...  Thanks!

YinTx

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Funnily enough, I was sewing a holster last night using tiger thread, and noticed that my length of thread was starting to twist.     Looking closely, my thread had developed a gentle spiral which it didn't noticably do before.

I have obviously developed a habit of turning the needles while sewing.   All I need to do now is work backwards and see where this twist is developing.    Obviously, being tiger thread, it's not a problem regarding unraveling, but it is a good example of a small problem that can multiply itself over a metre or so of stitching.

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Hi guys,

I have seen that Coates lists some of their thread as 'reverse twist' however , does anyone know where the 'standard' twist can be found ?

Funnily enough,,my standard Coates thread is twisted the same way.!!

Why is this S twist thread so hard to find.?

Can anyone help pls.?

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On 7/26/2016 at 4:12 AM, YinTx said:

Does anyone have up close photos that illustrate this phenomenon of twist going in the right direction vs. twist going in the wrong direction?  This is a detail I have not noted myself, maybe I've been lucky and used the correct twist for my particular stitching style, or maybe I just didn't know what I should be looking for...  Thanks!

YinTx

I will get you a close up..

Give me til tonight.

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