Bible Repair Thread Size and Type

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Hey Sophia, what on earth type, size, and material thread am I going to want for the repairing of bible binding, and the sewing of signatures, as needed? Am I going to want a 40/3? Or an even finer 60/3? Or something finer even still? Linen? Silk?

I have looked around quite a bit, and searched the web for results, before even bothering you with the question, but so much of the thread that I see offered in the book binding supply stores online is so thick, and seems geared almost entirely for bookbinding, and not specifically limpbound bible binding, where because of such a massive overall page count, the threads used are so much finer and thinner, but still strong enough to resist breakage (well, the good ones are, I can’t say the same for all the current prints coming out of China, unfortunately…..some are okay from there though, and not all American printed were always good either, to be fair, though the Netherlands, England, and often Belarus usually seem to have good sewing from the factory).

I found a 60/3 linen thread offered by Talas, but even here, without ever having used it before, I am not sure if it is what I would need for this type fine sewing and fine binding. Hollander’s only has a linen thread as fine as 35/3, so I am not sure about that one…..

I just really don’t know how to get a hold of the particular size, type, and material thread I need, from a good maker/supplier, without having to buy 3-5 different threads to find out which one is best……

Thanks so much Sophia, or anyone else who might be able to chime in.

Cody-Crossroads Leather Company

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 0)
Asked on December 27, 2020 6:38 pm
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Hi Cody,

Thread is complicated because of the thickness it adds to sewing a book. Here is a great article by Jeff Peachey explaining what this means. Check out his tools and blog posts too! https://jeffpeachey.com/2015/11/24/a-guide-to-swell/

I recommend purchasing a sampler of threads from Colophon or Talas so you can feel them. 

You will definitely need a thin strong thread for a Bible. I can never remember what the thread numbers are for the thread I use in general and I haven't had to order thread in years. If you can tug the thread between your hands and it breaks easily, don't use it. Peachey recommends a 25/3 as a standard size so you can adjust from that. However, it depends on the thickness of the strands to begin with so...? yep. Thread is complicated. The sampler cards are the way to go.

One trick is to wrap the thread around a pencil as many times as you have signatures to sew (all-along). This will show you the thickness you are adding to your book.

 

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Answered on December 29, 2020 2:36 pm