New England
Lace Group

A question about thread

July 30, 2014 3:20 PM | Katherine Moore (Administrator)

Hello, all!  At retreat this year I won some linen thread at the auction that I believe was part of Carolyn Purcell's "stash".  It's lovely stuff, I've done some hand sewing with it and just wound some onto bobbins and started making some lace with it.  It is Knox's Gimp Lace Linen Thread, 2 cord, 60.  I'd assumed that meant 60/2 but it seems much finer to me, finer than the Fresia 100/2 linen I've been working with lately.  Also looks finer than some Bockens 60/2 that I have. Can anyone enlighten me?  It's on wooden spools so maybe it's been around a while - has the terminology changed over the years?  Or is a different terminology in use in Scotland?  

Thanks for your help!


  • July 31, 2014 8:10 PM | Carolyn Wetzel
    Maybe it is spun tighter and smoother? The size number relates length to weight, so maybe for that brand/type of thread the relationship gives 60 while for the other threads it is different. Check this website for some info:

    Also, Does the Paternoster book on threads have insight on historical sizing?
    Link  •  Reply
  • August 01, 2014 4:49 AM | Jill Hawkins
    I took the liberty of asking this question on Arachne. I checked Brenda Paternoster's book and she has other sizes of Knox's Gimp Lace Linen, but not 2 cord, 60. Brenda is a member of Arachne, so hopefully she will post directly back with an answer of what might be an equivalent.

    Link  •  Reply
  • August 01, 2014 7:06 AM | Jill Hawkins
    Here is the response from Brenda:

    "Knox’s Gimp, Lace linen is listed (page 21 in Ed 5) but I haven’t seen it as fine as size 60. 2-cord just means 2-ply, which all of the other sizes of Knox’s Gimp are.

    Because there are eight other sizes listed I’ve drawn a graph with size on one axis and w/cm on the other, and it comes out as a fairly straight line so I would predict that size 60 will be around 38-40 w/cm."

    Katherine, there are many threads that are 38-40 wraps/cm so will email you the complete list. However, some of the threads that I recognize are: Presencia Finca 60, Piper silk 140/2, Madeira Tanne/Cotona No 50, Egyptian gassed cotton 60/2, Copley Marshall 60/2.

    Link  •  Reply
  • August 01, 2014 12:44 PM | Katherine Moore (Administrator)
    Thank you Carolyn and Jill for your help! I appreciate you going to the trouble of getting the info for me. I never considered Arachne - must add the site to my bookmarks! And Brenda's book to my library, I think!
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