Search for Bookbinding Thread

For so long I've been doing my amateurish way of binding books, I used any string available because, as long as they're stitched together, it doesn't matter, right? Then again, I started taking the craft a bit more seriously than I've ever previously done. I learned about linen thread and it's the one being used in binding books traditionally.

I researched about them online and what did I find? A 200g spool of thread costs $100. Oh man! I'm not in the US so I'll convert: that's Php4,800.00!!!! Almost 5K for a spool of thread. That's professional-plan-internet for a month with lots of long-distance calls thrown in. That's a very comfortable, air-conditioned studio for a month. That's rent money. *sigh*

So I looked for alternatives. First, the readily available crochet thread, but it's made of cotton and it stretches, and if you stretch it a bit more than usual, it breaks and frays. Second, nylon thread. I have black and white here. Unfortunately, the three strands that make the thread separate each time it passes a hole. And it knots at the slightest move. Not good. Yesterday, I was on a hunt again to find a more acceptable substitute and there at the topmost corner shelf, behind the spools of ribbons, at Carolina's in Megamall, almost hidden from the casual customer, I saw: "kite thread". I had to look at it and feel it between my fingers. I pulled, tugged and tried to smoosh it up to see if it would fray and it didn't. Today, I tried to pull it into punctured holes on paper and it went smoothly. Yay for the find! And for the girl who assisted me there, thanks so much for your patience. She's genuinely helpful.

I haven't given up on that linen thread. I found another one that's $31 for a 50g spool of raw linen string. I might buy it someday, if I so decided to close my eyes, add it to cart, enter and never look back.


Johni Red 10:31 PM  

Hi! Great tip! Will check it out as well.

Charo 1:58 AM  

Hello! I was looking online for linen threads in the Philippines to use for my home bookbinding projects when I came across your site. 100$US for a spool of thread?! That's too expensive. Even $31 is expensive. Have you tried looking at and for your supplies? I like hollanders since they have waxed linen thread. Right now I'm using old unused waxed dental floss that I found lying around the house. Works well. Just always keep your hands clean when using it.

Paper Basket 4:09 PM  

Hello Charo... thanks so much for the tip! Hollander's sure is much cheaper than the ones I looked at. How come they're that expensive, I wonder? This kite-flying thread, it's like a thinner version of dental floss which I tried using once. I wasn't comfortable with it though... keeps reminding me it's for teeth. :D

Thanks again! :)

Charo 4:23 PM  

I just realized. Linen thread is also used in making shoes. I'll look around here in my hometown (Marikina) first since I also need a real awl and a much sturdier needle. I'll let you know if I find the thread here. :)

Paper Basket 9:44 PM  

Awww... Thanks! That would be great. I lived in Marikina for 9 years for college then work, came home in San Pablo in 1996. :)

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