Where does linen come from? Linen comes from the Flax plant. The fibers from the flax are very long, strong, and lustrous, it has their own sheen. Once flax fiber is ready for spinning, it is called Line Flax and it is available in beautiful natural creams, tans, silvers, and grays. As in all fibers, there are different qualities of flax. Some are courser and some are finer and their colors vary.
Our linen thread has been locally spun from flax fiber. It has been traditionally wet-spun with an S-twist. What does that mean? To make strong, smooth, and even threads, the flax needs to be wet-spun, meaning we need to wet it while it spins. Wetting the fiber, cements down the fiber ends. Our thread has been wet-spun with a flax-seed solution. An S-twist is the direction of the twist, which is to the left. It is traditional and flax fibers tend to naturally twist in that direction.
Once it has been spun the wording magically changes and we can now call it linen thread.
Our linen threads have different weights, meaning their single strand thickness differs, but they then get paired with other single strands that are similar or the same in thickness, but only if it is needed, some strands need not be paired because they are thick enough on their own.
After they have been paired and counted, they get plied together, again, we used an S-twist to ply. We have kept the sizing really simple and stuck with 4 different sizes.
Once it has been plied, we then scour and set the twist with a bit of tension. Scouring helps clean and soften the thread, it also lightens the color of the thread, but you will never get a white. You will get natural whites, gray white and silver whites. The pure white that we have is simply dyed and not bleached. Unbleached linen thread is in its natural state and has not been chemically bleached.
Bookbinders traditionally use linen thread because it is strong, and lovely to work with. The threads can be easily smushed, it is soft and absorbent, and as said previously, it has a lovely sheen.
Polyester waxed thread, 1mm thick, strong and mostly used for decorative and exposed stiching.
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DIY Book Binding Supplies
Address: 55 Dunville Road, Grosvenor, Bluff, Durban, South Africa, 4052