The Sewing Place

Net silk thread

Roger

Net silk thread
« on: January 29, 2018, 21:05:13 PM »
I turned up a spool (wooden) of Net Silk it’s a lovely thread really soft and smooth, and flexible. I wondered if there was a modern equivalent I had a rummage on google but couldn’t find anything other than jewellery...

Any one know anything about it?
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

BrendaP

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 22:25:23 PM »
Net silk just means thrown/reeled/filament silk. 

Continuous filaments of silk been unwound from the cocoons and twisted (thrown) then wound onto reels.  It could be very fine, it could be quite a thick thread, it could be tightly twisted (organzine) or it could be very lightly twisted (embroidery floss) or something in between. 

What it is not is spun silk which is made from all the bits and pieces of filament which inevitably get broken off during the twisting and winding process.   They are spun together in much the same way as cotton fibres are spun.  It's usually spun silk which is used on sewing machines for sewing seams.  Filament silk is stronger but more likely to cut into delicate fabric.

Is there any label on the reel?  If there is I might be able to point you in the direction of a similar modern equivalent
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Roger

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 07:17:43 AM »
Thank you Brenda! Sadly I had to leave this morning in a rush... and didn’t get a chance to take a pic. From memory it says something like superior net silk, and something I’ve forgotten and on the bottom it has ‘shade’ and the shade number was were the hole is and someone has put it on a spool holder.

Beautiful thread though feels quite thick. And being silk it explains the lustre and slightly transparent iridescence. It’s a sort of midnight blue/black dark grey...

I’ll get some pics Thursday night when I get home
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

BrendaP

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 10:17:55 AM »
If it's old thread you are very unlikely to find more so the shade number isn't so important.  What would matter is the thickness, which might be shown as denier or might just say medium, thick, stout or whatever, and a brand name if there is one.

Are you looking to use this thread?  or just stroke and admire it?
Does it look to be regular seam sewing thickness (Gutermann Sew All or 50/3 cotton) or is it thicker like a top stitch thread?
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Roger

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 23:58:54 PM »
Hi Brenda,

Here’s a pic of the net silk next to some Gutterman which is a thicker polyester which I think it’s a bit thicker, but the silk is twice (roughly) as thick as sew-all , I think it was being used for satin stitching there was a white cotton on the bobbin.

I haven’t quite decided what to do with it but having examined it, it seemed like a really unusual and high quality thread, and I liked the high sheen lustre I’d probably like to get some for some really special embroidery.
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

BrendaP

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2018, 09:44:43 AM »
Below is a pic of all the old reels in my collection - I can't see anything which maches; is there a label on the other end of the reel?

Given that it's quite a bit thicker than Gütermann SewAll I suggest it was intended for buttonholes.  Silk is usually the recommended thread for buttonholes (hand or machine) for tailored wool coats and jackets.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

arrow

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 10:57:44 AM »
They used to suggest sewing wool with silk, silk with silk, and cotton with cotton, and it's still works well as a rule. These days polyester and rayon (mostly embroidery as far as I know) have taken over nearly every use of silk, and I can't say it does a bad job. I have hardly ever had trouble with threads cutting the fabric. The exception has been a few cases of terrible lycra-cotton-viscose jersey.

Spools of slik threads are still in the shops, but they hardly ever suggest using it for regular purposes. Like with everything it has a lot to do with price and there's never enough silk made to replace synthetic fibers. Silk is the strongest thread, but it's only breakage tests it comes out favorably. Silk will weaken when exposed to sun, long term humidity, most types detergents. It's not practical for all types of project, but it might still be the best for some.




Roger

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 11:13:28 AM »
The other side is even less helpful. It was on the spool holder so I’m guessing that the machine hadn’t been used in ages...

I didn’t know that silk was preferred for buttonholes especially on high end finishes.

Thank you,

R.
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

toileandtrouble

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 11:47:12 AM »
the reel looks a lot like this - https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/reels-vintage-net-silk-thread-305298667.
As  you see, it is described as having the cellophane still round it, so perhaps not that old after all. Can't read the brand at all.

Roger

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 12:12:05 PM »
That does look just like it... must be more recent than I thought :)
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

BrendaP

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 14:11:39 PM »
They used to suggest sewing wool with silk, silk with silk, and cotton with cotton, and it's still works well as a rule. These days polyester and rayon (mostly embroidery as far as I know) have taken over nearly every use of silk,

Polyester can be used for nearly all sewing jobs, though I do prefer to use cotton for 100% cotton fabrics, and on the rare occasion I might be sewing silk fabric I would use silk thread - but I'd choose a spun silk, not reeled/filament/net silk.

Rayon thread is for embroidery, it's not strong enough for sewing seams.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

BrendaP

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2018, 14:25:10 PM »
the reel looks a lot like this - https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/reels-vintage-net-silk-thread-305298667.
As  you see, it is described as having the cellophane still round it, so perhaps not that old after all. Can't read the brand at all.

The bit on that photo which looks as though it should be a brand name is clearer or Roger's photo - it says "trade mark"  Whoever it was was more concerned about their pretty little image than their name! which is a shame because I can't identify it.  ><

If you are looking to obtain more of something similar I recommend Pipers Silks.  The silk gimp will be similar but there are a lot of sizes to choose from, the medium sizes are the sort of thickness you would use as a buttonhole thread.


Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Roger

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2018, 15:21:37 PM »
Thanks Brenda that’s really helpful, maybe I’ll give using silks a go :) finding this spool has really opened my eyes to silk, this thread feels pretty special, kind of like the difference between high end writing paper and 70gsm copier paper...

I’m intrigued; why do you prefer spun silks to filament silk?

Thank you again,

Roger

A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

BrendaP

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2018, 22:18:15 PM »
Spun silk is less slippy and less likely to cut into the fabric than filament silk.

For a lot of people Gütermann is the most readily available silk, and it's good quality.  For sewing seams Gütermann S303,  would be the choice.  If you are topstitching or hand stitching buttonholes Gütermann R753 is the choice.

The S in S303 indicates that it's spun silk.  The R in R753 indicates that it's reeled silk.  Reeled = filament = net.

I've never seen any other sizes in Gütermann reeled silk, but they make/made finer and thicker versions of their spun silk.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Lizzy777

Re: Net silk thread
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 16:51:11 PM »
I found this thread very informative so wanted to read more about vintage threads and found this page.

http://info.fabrics.net/vintage-thread-chart-photo-gallery/

And I read this information from the above page which is very interesting1

"The thread industry as it is known today, according to the Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary [George Linton, 1973],
began in 1806 when Napoleon issued the Edict of Britain during the Napoleonic wars which forbade importation of silk to the
British Isles. Up to that time all thread was made of silk; largest suppliers were Clark and Coats families based in Paisley, Scotland.
This ban made the manufacture of cotton thread inevitable."


I wonder when they re introduced silk threads again then?

lizzy





« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 16:52:45 PM by Lizzy777 »