Hi- I've just joined this group and I've just begun learning bobbin lace- Making progress and enjoying myself immensely!  Currently I'm using the little spools of DMC colored thread as it's readily available at the local craft strore.  I'd rather be using Linen thread, however, when I search online I'm very confused becuase of all the differnt numbers , signifying the different sizes of thread, so I don't even know what to order.

Could an experienced Bobbin Lacer suggest a good linen thread ( size and brand) and supplier in the U.S. for making lace for trimming maybe - Cafe curtains or to trim a pillow case or tablecloth ?

Thank you for any help or suggestions.

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Darcee

Your question has several aspects. Most of us who do bobbin lace, and use linen thread, buy it online or through old fashioned mail order, because local craft stores don't usually carry it. Laurie Waters, of lacenews, has collected lists of suppliers sorted out geographically, by country.  Her list of U.S. suppliers -- 

https://www.pinterest.com/LaceNews/lace-supplies-books-usa-canada/ 

The 2nd part of your question is about figuring out the right size of thread to use. Linen thread sizes are usually expressed as a fraction, such as 40/2 or 60/2, etc. The first number is arrived at by how many yards or meters of thread per pound or kilo os weight. The 2nd number is how many plies or strands are twisted together to make the thread. So the 1st number is the size of the ply, the 2nd is how many plies in the finished thread. So don't expect linen thread size numbers to bear any relation to cotton thread size numbers (since yardage per pound will be quite different).

So what size to buy? That depends of your pattern. With bobbin laces such as torchon or simple braided/plaited laces there has to be a good match between the pattern size and thread size. So the first thing to find is what size thread does your book or pattern suggest? Once we know that we can suggest alternatives.

To figure out how to match threads to pattern size, look at this DISCUSSION I posted that explains how I work that out for myself.  http://laceioli.ning.com/group/threads/page/thread-size-for-prickin....

Lorelei

One thing you have to remember when doing lace is the size of thread; depending on the result you want. You may use a thicker thread which in turn you will use less bobbins and the design (pricking) will look differently than if you used a thinner thread. The higher the number: such as 100/2 is a very thin thread compared to 70/2 which will be a thicker thread.  One place to order from would be Holly Van Sciver. She offers sound advise and is local in the U.S. http://www.vansciverbobbinlace.com/ That is her link. Give her a call or check out her website.

I hope this helps some and welcome to the wonderful world of lacemaking.

Thank you both for your replies-  They were both very helpful. I was fortunate this week to find a lady in my town who had some excess supplies of linen thread and I could "see" the difference in thread sizes.  This was also  very helpful. I'm really loving the challenge of learning something new. 

Diana Lyn Slavin said:

One thing you have to remember when doing lace is the size of thread; depending on the result you want. You may use a thicker thread which in turn you will use less bobbins and the design (pricking) will look differently than if you used a thinner thread. The higher the number: such as 100/2 is a very thin thread compared to 70/2 which will be a thicker thread.  One place to order from would be Holly Van Sciver. She offers sound advise and is local in the U.S. http://www.vansciverbobbinlace.com/ That is her link. Give her a call or check out her website.

I hope this helps some and welcome to the wonderful world of lacemaking.

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