Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by mainewoods, Mar 11, 2018.
whats a good needle size ?
Will a sail needle work ?
I use this one:
If you're having to use an awl to punch the holes anyway, I use an embroidery needle... part of that's my old eyes (easier to thread), part of it's necessary due to the thickness of the sinew.
A normal sail needle would be too thick for most of the leatherwork I do.
I’ll pick one by the size of the eye. If I can thread the waxed nylon (artificial sinew), through the eye, the needle is is most likely stout enough to handle the task.
That being said, the thinner the needle, the easier it is to pass through materials.
Going through birch bark .
+ one on the "S" curve needle from Tandy. Expensive, but worth every penny. It does take a bit to get used to using but easiest by far once you learn!
I’ve never sewed birch bark, but my guess would be to punch holes first. With a heavy enough needle one may be able to push the threaded needle through. On thick materials I’ve used a leather pad to push, and at times a pliers to pull. Needles are generally widest at the eye so it may need a little force to go through. Punching holes prior would sure make it easier on your fingers.
I don't think artificial sinew is cotton; it melts instead of burning. Maybe polyester or nylon.
You might try this leather sewing all. I use one with artificial sinew. The needle will go through thick leather using another piece of leather behind it to protect your table or hand.
Good call! Very strong stuff, too! I have a large spool of the stuff that I acquired over 40 years ago and my Pops and I have used it since then and I would say it is more than I’ll use in my life time. My guess is that it is about 900 yards.
I use that to lash my wood frame kayaks together, I have a boat that I was making while listening to the summer Olympics in Atlanta so that was 22 years ago, and they lashing are as solid as when they went in and have never rotted in years of exposure to salt water. That is tough stuff!
Pretty sure artificial sinew is nylon. Very tough and strong, rot free. As to sewing with it , I usually split it by half. Its a lot easier to work with this way. You just have to flatten /straighten it and then pull it a part slowly so as to not get a snarl in it. Tandy makes a sewing needle with a larger eye, that's what I use.
Folks who have mentioned that artificial sinew is made from nylon are 100% correct. As for the size of the needle to use, my guess is that will be based on what it is your sewing. I've only worked on birch bark once and I totally blew it. The bark was too dry and my holes eventually broke through the seam area I was making. You might want to be sure the bark is limber, at least dampened down, before sewing it. Pre-punching your holes is probably a good idea as well.
Also, J.M. already mentioned it above but you don't always need (or want) to use "full strength" sinew on your projects. I use very narrow strands when doing beadwork but beefier ones when making moccasins. Eventually you'll get the hang of what it is you'll need but until then, it's all just one big experiment
That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.