JC2019

Which type of thread do you like to use & for what application? Any that come in various colors?

Recommended Posts

As I am learning and read the 10 lessons articles, I've been finding that a thread can make a big difference in stitch work enjoyment.

 

Currently since I'm so new, I just want to try out some colors to play with designs.

 

I've bought some tiger thread (I like the look of this), I think I've read that linen thread is suggested? Anything else you guys like or suggest?

 

Would you recommend this thread if I want variety? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DWQGNSP/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2CR9PKLRKNEYA&psc=1

I know I also want to look into the thickness of the thread and SPI but I still need to research that a bit more. Any resources (especially video guides) that you find particularly handy please let me know.

 

My applications will be mainly wallets + moving onto bags. I know there are no fast rules only guidelines but would like to know the general idea.

 

Thank you!

Edited by JC2019

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I typically use three colors.  Black, white and tan.  The thread you linked to looks OK.  Typical Chinese stuff by the looks of it.  I've seen good reviews and not-so-good.

I suggest looking at the Nigel Armitage videos on his youtube.com channel.  He talks about a bunch of different stitching chisels and pricking irons but in the process discusses thread quite a bit.  He also reviews several types of thread.

On his other website, he has written reviews that are excellent.  Check them out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a selection of pre-waxed linen thread when I want to try for historical accuracy (i.e. medieval Europe) for certain pieces. It's also an aesthetic thing -- stitching with natural materials vs. plastic. There is nothing wrong with nylon thread-- I have some of that, too, and I do use it for certain projects!
I get my linen thread from Royalwood Ltd., a basketry/ beading supply store in Ohio which also happens to sell a large variety of Irish linen thread, in a large selection of colors and plies (2 up to 12 ply, if I remember right).
The waxed linen thread wears well -- I had to re-do a few stitches on my wallet (red linen thread) because a row of 5 stitches on the top edge had worn out after 6-7 years of constant surface wear. All the other stitches, set down in grooves in the leather, are still looking good. 
With the linen thread, I can take a piece of 5 ply and turn into a set of 2 and 3 ply, each re-twisted, so I can tailor the thread size to the stitch length.
I find that when stitching with linen thread I have to pay attention with the needles, since it's very easy to push the needle through the thread instead of to the side. (I find braided thread doesn't do that nearly as much.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use linen thread from Fil Au Chinois and Meisi (Yuefung button also produced by Meisi, and Twist from RML I think.)

I do wallets and watch straps.

 

2.45/11spi: Thread 0.35-0.43mm

2.7/10spi: Thread 0.35-0.51mm 

3.0/9spi: Thread 0.45-0.51mm

 

Edited by Danne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you've probably gathered your choice is between synthetic and linen

The Julius Koch company makes a braided polyester thread under the brand name Ritza; it has a picture of a tiger on the label so it is also known as Tiger thread. It is very popular and available in a range of colours and diameters; start with 0,6mm and see how you go. I've tried it but I don't like the way it feels/handles, I prefer linen; still, lots of people do

If you buy linen thread get it from a proper leather craft supplier or get known brands like Coates, Barbour, Somac, Crawfords, or Fil au Chinois. Do not get unbranded stuff from Ebay or Amazon - some of it might be OK but some of it isn't very good, and you don't want to find out the hard way. Measuring the thickness of linen thread is a bit complicated; size 18/3 is a good choice for general leatherwork. Some makers only have a few colours like white, black, natural, or brown, and some have a wider range, just shop around

An explanation -- In the early 19th century the French company Sajou developed a way of making linen thread with a tighter twist which made it stronger and smoother. At the time anything Oriental or Chinese was fashionable so even though the thread was, and still is, made in France they called it 'Fil au Chinois' which means 'Chinese Thread'. It is very good thread but uses the French system for measuring thickness. Again, you don't need to understand it, except that the lower the number the thicker the thread. Try size 432 to start with 

I have found this supplier - The Rocky Mountain Leather Supply. They stock Tiger thread in small size reels at $7 as well as full size at $39; and Fil au Chinois at $39 They also have a new brand 'Twist Polybraid', synthetic and 'Twist Masterfil' linen. It looks reasonable enough, and they are offering free samples. Otherwise Search Google

This video is useful -  '10 differences between Tiger Thread and Fil au Chinois' by Ian Atkinson    In fact anything by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage is worth watching

I make mostly knife sheaths from 3 or 3,5mm vegetable tanned leather. I use stitching chisels with 4mm spacing, though sometimes I do extra work with an awl; sewn with 332 or 432 or 18/3 linen thread and John James #002 needles. For thinner leather like wallets you could use 3mm spacing

Whatever thread you choose, get some decent needles - these are among the best - John James size 002, JJ product code L3912, also available from Rocky Mountain Leather Supply

Both Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage have videos on making wallets and bags. Nigel Armitage has recently produced a series of videos on making pouches, they are masterclasses on neat, precise leatherworking and the same techniques can be expanded to produce bags. But there are many other videos; Search YouTube and watch as many as you have the stamina for!

Edited by zuludog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, zuludog said:

As you've probably gathered your choice is between synthetic and linen

The Julius Koch company makes a braided polyester thread under the brand name Ritza; it has a picture of a tiger on the label so it is also known as Tiger thread. It is very popular and available in a range of colours and diameters; start with 0,6mm and see how you go. I've tried it but I don't like the way it feels/handles, I prefer linen; still, lots of people do

If you buy linen thread get it from a proper leather craft supplier or get known brands like Coates, Barbour, Somac, Crawfords, or Fil au Chinois. Do not get unbranded stuff from Ebay or Amazon - some of it might be OK but some of it isn't very good, and you don't want to find out the hard way. Measuring the thickness of linen thread is a bit complicated; size 18/3 is a good choice for general leatherwork. Some makers only have a few colours like white, black, natural, or brown, and some have a wider range, just shop around

An explanation -- In the early 19th century the French company Sajou developed a way of making linen thread with a tighter twist which made it stronger and smoother. At the time anything Oriental or Chinese was fashionable so even though the thread was, and still is, made in France they called it 'Fil au Chinois' which means 'Chinese Thread'. It is very good thread but uses the French system for measuring thickness. Again, you don't need to understand it, except that the lower the number the thicker the thread. Try size 432 to start with 

I have found this supplier - The Rocky Mountain Leather Supply. They stock Tiger thread in small size reels at $7 as well as full size at $39; and Fil au Chinois at $39 They also have a new brand 'Twist Polybraid', synthetic and 'Twist Masterfil' linen. It looks reasonable enough, and they are offering free samples. Otherwise Search Google

This video is useful -  '10 differences between Tiger Thread and Fil au Chinois' by Ian Atkinson    In fact anything by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage is worth watching

I make mostly knife sheaths from 3 or 3,5mm vegetable tanned leather. I use stitching chisels with 4mm spacing, though sometimes I do extra work with an awl; sewn with 332 or 432 or 18/3 linen thread and John James #002 needles. For thinner leather like wallets you could use 3mm spacing

Whatever thread you choose, get some decent needles - these are among the best - John James size 002, JJ product code L3912, also available from Rocky Mountain Leather Supply

Both Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage have videos on making wallets and bags. Nigel Armitage has recently produced a series of videos on making pouches, they are masterclasses on neat, precise leatherworking and the same techniques can be expanded to produce bags. But there are many other videos; Search YouTube and watch as many as you have the stamina for!

Great thanks all for your info. Will check the youtube videos out. I am going with the cheapest veg tan leather possible (advice from 10 lessons blog posts) so I think practicing with good thread and kneedles will be my way to "splurge'. I didnt realize SPI and thread mattered until I started reading that post. 

 

I wanted to sample the Rocky Mountain stuff anyway at some point just to feel the quality, so I will get their thread too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought some of the thread similar to the Amazon post as above.  I make mainly small pouches and knife sheaths.  The stuff works perfectly fine in my opinion.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/8/2019 at 2:32 AM, zuludog said:

As you've probably gathered your choice is between synthetic and linen

The Julius Koch company makes a braided polyester thread under the brand name Ritza; it has a picture of a tiger on the label so it is also known as Tiger thread. It is very popular and available in a range of colours and diameters; start with 0,6mm and see how you go. I've tried it but I don't like the way it feels/handles, I prefer linen; still, lots of people do

If you buy linen thread get it from a proper leather craft supplier or get known brands like Coates, Barbour, Somac, Crawfords, or Fil au Chinois. Do not get unbranded stuff from Ebay or Amazon - some of it might be OK but some of it isn't very good, and you don't want to find out the hard way. Measuring the thickness of linen thread is a bit complicated; size 18/3 is a good choice for general leatherwork. Some makers only have a few colours like white, black, natural, or brown, and some have a wider range, just shop around

An explanation -- In the early 19th century the French company Sajou developed a way of making linen thread with a tighter twist which made it stronger and smoother. At the time anything Oriental or Chinese was fashionable so even though the thread was, and still is, made in France they called it 'Fil au Chinois' which means 'Chinese Thread'. It is very good thread but uses the French system for measuring thickness. Again, you don't need to understand it, except that the lower the number the thicker the thread. Try size 432 to start with 

I have found this supplier - The Rocky Mountain Leather Supply. They stock Tiger thread in small size reels at $7 as well as full size at $39; and Fil au Chinois at $39 They also have a new brand 'Twist Polybraid', synthetic and 'Twist Masterfil' linen. It looks reasonable enough, and they are offering free samples. Otherwise Search Google

This video is useful -  '10 differences between Tiger Thread and Fil au Chinois' by Ian Atkinson    In fact anything by Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage is worth watching

I make mostly knife sheaths from 3 or 3,5mm vegetable tanned leather. I use stitching chisels with 4mm spacing, though sometimes I do extra work with an awl; sewn with 332 or 432 or 18/3 linen thread and John James #002 needles. For thinner leather like wallets you could use 3mm spacing

Whatever thread you choose, get some decent needles - these are among the best - John James size 002, JJ product code L3912, also available from Rocky Mountain Leather Supply

Both Ian Atkinson and Nigel Armitage have videos on making wallets and bags. Nigel Armitage has recently produced a series of videos on making pouches, they are masterclasses on neat, precise leatherworking and the same techniques can be expanded to produce bags. But there are many other videos; Search YouTube and watch as many as you have the stamina for!

Nice, I have purchased Armitage video subscription on vimeo and they are great. I am going through them and noting the tools used. This is going to get expensive. At the very least I will be getting the student knife he uses and maybe the sharpening system.

It doesn't seem he mentions what awl he is using? I will likely get a better awl along with a 1 ton press + some pricking irons to reduce noise. Though I did notice he uses a white mallet/maul that I believe everyone recommends and it seems less loud (Berry King?)? I'm trying to look into the weight (48oz?) and shape? Maybe round?

 

 

 

 

Edited by JC2019

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that somewhere on one of his videos Nigel mentions that he uses a 1 1/2" Osborne awl blade. Don't know about the haft, but I expect that Osborne and others can supply one to suit. You would need to mount & sharpen it yourself

If you are doing wallets, with thinner leather,  have a look at this awl - Tandy Craftool Pro Stitching Awl #83020; it has a narrow blade and is sharp enough to use straight away, but like any awl or knife, it can be improved by stropping. Tandy have recently changed & reduced their prices and it is more reasonable now

Search Google for 'Leathercraft Maul', there are several to choose from. I don't use one, I use a hide mallet I got from a local craft shop

You can make your own strop from oddments of wood and leather, there are lots of videos on YT. This is just about the easiest & cheapest  piece of leatherwork you can do, but treat yourself to some proper stropping/honing compound from a leatherwork or woodworking supplier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now