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Linen thread recommendations available in US?

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I was looking at Fil au Chinois thread but it's quite expensive, mostly because you have to buy a full 150m spool while Tiger thread is available in 25m.

Any other linen thread recommendations? Waxed/unwaxed doesn't matter. Looking for around 18/3 or maybe 12/3 max.

Seems like there is this "Irish Linen thread"


Anyone know if it's any good?

Also which type poly/linen is better for high gauge, say .8mm? I'm thinking Linen might be better, because higher gauge might show thread more and linen thread seems to look better, while thinner thread might benefit from better strength of nylon thread.


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As far as I know, Tiger thread only comes in 500 or 1,000 meter spools depending on thickness. Rocky Mountain Leather Supply does sell it in 25 meter lengths, but it appears that they are the ones transferring the thread to the smaller spool. On the 25 meter spools I have purchased, the label clearly states Rocky Mountain Leather. Also note that when you purchase the 25 meter spool you are paying over three times the price per meter of thread.

I have not seen it, but perhaps another supplier offers the same service with Fil au Chinois. 

For a smaller spool of linen thread, you can purchase Twist at Rocky Mountain Leather Supply. It comes in 80 and 90 meter spools depending on thickness. While I prefer Fil au Chinois, for special colors where I do not need a lot, I purchase Twist. For example, just yesterday I ordered a spool of Twist thread in electric blue. I have a special item I want to make with it, but I can't imagine ever using the entire spool (let alone 500 meters).

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I heard that one of the big linen suppliers is shutting down, but I don't have confirmation on that yet.

Barbours is the big name in traditional Irish linen.  Crawford and Campbell also are big names.  Barbours is available in 1 cord up to, I believe, 11 cord.

Osborne (I believe) sells 25 yard spools and 4 oz spools of waxed linen in black, brown, and natural.  Samson Historical Leather sells smaller quantities of linen thread, but not Fil Au Chinois. Landwerlen Leather in Indianapolis (order by phone, no site) sells both the 25 yd and 4 oz spools I mentioned, at wholesale to the public, as well as Barbours and their house brand.

If you attend any rendezvous or historical reenactment events with a flea market you can find suppliers of smaller quantities too.

If you get some unwaxed linen like Barbours (mostly 1 lb spools and cost about 60 bucks), come back and I'll tell you how you can make it quite similar to Fil Au Chinois at home, for cheap.  That's what I do.

For 0.8mm I think that would be similar to 3 or 4 cord.  I believe 5 cd is close to 1.0mm.

Edited by johnv474

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