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Re: Linen thread thread

Linen threads, even those advertised as unwaxed/unbleached/untouched by
human hands, etc., retain some gums & pectins from their growth in the
field (they are not all lost during retting) and some compounds are added
by the manufacture to enhance spinnability while they make the thread.

This makes linen a difficult thread to dye.  Boiled dyes, such as RIT
overcome much of this problem.  Black dyes are generally considered among
the most harmful to strength due to metallic salts which tender thread.

Aniline dyes will work, but take a certain amount of preparation.  I prefer
to dye linen threads with Fiebing's leather dyes.  They are alcohol/water
solutions which dye linen thread quickly.  For black, I use the one which
they call USMC Black (Unites States Marine Corp Black), but I don't use it
where strength and durability is important.


>I requested black from Colophon in Olympia, WA, and they told me
>that there isn't enough demand for them to carry it (personally I don't
>understand that as I'd prefer black or natural over bleached white any day)
>and that it isn't completely archival. I would love to know where you get
>it, and if you color it yourself, exactly how you do that.

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

voice/fax: 503/735-3942


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