Silk thread against synthetic thread

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Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:49 am

Lumikettu

I would like to ask your opinion on which thread to get to sew my silk karinui into a maiko hikizuri. I've been thinking which thread to get since they both have their pros and cons, but I would like to make sure which would be the correct choice. Thank you for your help!

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:49 am

Ame

I'm no pro, but I've heard that silk thread is better since it will have the same "stretch" as the silk fabric, while a synthetic one will me much stiffer, prone to break and possibly damage the fabric.

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:50 am

SuperGrouper

I didn't vote, but I've read that in traditional kimono, they use 1 strand of weaker-than-the-fabric thread, so that if there's tension then the thread will break before the fabric tears. So, I guess whichever is the most delicate? :? If it's a fancy kimono, it would be a disaster if it ripped. ;_;

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:50 am

muhvi

When I was starting my fist kimono sewing project I would have preferred silk thread, but all the fabric shops around here had so lousy selection of silk threads (just the basic colors) that I had to settle for synthetic. I have sewn now two kimono and made a few ones bigger, no problems with any of them so far. So I would say silk if you can get it, otherwise synthetic should do.

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:51 am

Kokoro

Silk for silk.
If the fabric is stretched to much by accident the silk thread will break before the fabric tears, that´s the idea behind it :)

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:51 am

Lumikettu

Thanks guys! I'm going after a silk one, but I doubt that I will find a good color... :(

I feel such an idiot... I've been studying clothing for 4 years now and I need to ask for something like this, but this is my first time working with silk and making a kimono from a karinui so I want to be sure of everything before I start....

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:51 am

Peccantis
Dear Muhvi-san, try a more arts-and-crafts type of shop, the type quilters would go to. I could swear I remember one shop I visited not so long ago, in Itäkeskus (maybe) or Eurokangas Tammisto even, had a nice collection of silk sewing thread.

The Novita shop in Soukka, Espoo doesn't hold silk sewing thread, I tried :wink:

If everything else fails, go online and find a place that sells silk thread and accepts PayPal. PayPal can handle Visa Electron if you don't have a credit card. You might need to enable online payment for your bank account. I did mine via online bank (Nordea).

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:52 am

muhvi

Peccantis - Thanks, I'll remember that next time when I start sewing next kimono :) . Nothing going on now, haven't seen nice, wide bolts for cheap enough price :( .

I did consider ordering thread online, but with shiny rinzu it's hard enough match the fabric and thread even when you have them both at hand. I doubt I wouldn't have gotten any better there than from the shop nearby. Someone smarter would probably just call me nitpicker and pick instead silk thread with the shade close enough... :shy:
If my kimono will be ruined later on I can only blame myself. So far it's doing ok.

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:53 am

peachchanvidel

I'm pretty glad I found this thread (pun not intended *cough*), because that's exactly the infos I needed.
Today I saw shinei having loads of silk-threads in a lot of colours and I thought I could get them for my Karinui - but I don't really want to.
I have about 35 synthetic overlock-spools in different colours - about 2,75 km thread in each colour. And now I'm not too sure if I really should also import thread, because I could fear some ripping - because this only happens to me if something doesn't fit. And I make my karinui to fit me... :pout: I can see why you should use silk thread, but it would be nice if there was a different option which wouldn't possibly hurt the fabric.
(Also it would be nice to know which parts rip apart more easily. F.e. on the collar shouldn't be any tension at all, or am I mistaken?)

I can't even imagine how much of these thread-balls are used up on one kimono.. because if I buy them I'll only use them for handsewing - so only Kimono - and the colours are "special". Purple and petrol, and perhaps a light pink... for my cream juban I have a thick old cotton-thread which often enough rips while sewing (especially on the part it's in the needle).
Also if I order online I'll never know, if the colour is a real match.

I'm also confused about one of my Juban.
the lining seems machine-sewn, everything else was sewn by hand. And when I tried it on the lining ripped from the outer fabric on one part. Guess the lining is synthetic and everything else regular silk - also the thread for sewing them together.. so I saw the ripping-problem already.. :smug:

As I guess 100m is more than enough for one Kimono (I don't really want to buy them XD") I think about this silk threads. (Enough colours I would say.. XD)
Silk-thread-strength is 100 (there's no dtex) and it seems like Polyester-Threads are about 120 (250 - 300 dtex). But they have also this "sew-everything-polyester-thread" which also has a strength of "only" 100, but with 300dtex
(1 dtex (Dezitex) = 0,1 tex | 1 gramm per 10000 m | 1 tex = 10 dtex ... seems like the yarn count)

does anybody know something about the possible dtex for Japanese silk threads and if the "sew-everything-polyester-thread" could also be used, as it's strength is also 100?

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:54 am

utsusemi

I´m sorry that I cannot help you with the dtex info, but I´ve noticed that Japanese use for kimono sewing silk thread which is thicker and softer than thread avaiable in the west.
Also a friend of mine is a seamstress and she recommended to me polyester thread for sewing silk ( patchwork ) with the sewing machine, as silk thread in her experience is rather weak and breaks easily. Well, better the thread than the fabric. Which would also explain why the synthetic lining of your juban is machine sewn. and the silk by hand.

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:54 am

Kokoro

I once bought a big lot of Gütermann yarn and I use their polyester and silk thread depending on the fabric for both hand and mashine sewing. I never had problems with it.
What you should do when shopping thread is is take your fabric with you and choose the exact or nearest colour you could find. A little darker is bettern than a little lighter, it blends better in the fabric colour. That´s why I wouldn´t buy the thread online, there is no garantee that the colours will match.

If you have questions about japanese thread you could ask Yukiko from KimonoPonchoCom at Etsy. She is quite a nice person, sews kimono etc and sells thread so right the person who should know :smil3:

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:54 am

utsusemi

I sent a pm to Yukkochan and asked her about the thread for sewing kimono. this is her answer:
Yes hand sewing thread is thicker than mishin thread indeed !

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:55 am

Joshua

I use pure cotton thread for pretty well everything, but I sew more wool and linen than silk. I am not sure how important colour is in kimono though, most seams are hidden under a little fold so the stitching is invisible.

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by IG Team » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:55 am

aethyreal

I don't do much sewing but I can tell you that my aunt is an avid quilter and she firmly believes that mixing synthetic and natural fibers is bad for long-term wear and tear on the piece. Something about synthetic fibers weakening or abrading natural fibers... No personal experience with anything myself though.

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Re: Silk thread against synthetic thread

Post by koneko » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:40 pm

I really think this is one of those topics where there's no right answer, it's just preference.

I haven't sewn that many kimono, but I've been a costume maker for thirty-odd years, and been around a lot of old ladies who've been doing it their whole lives for fashion houses, high-end clients, theater and film, and are all too ready to tell you what's right and what's wrong! :laugh:

What needs to be taken into account is the Ne, or twist of the thread, and the all-important ductility, or stretch/break strength (I know, we're getting into technicalities, but hey, this whole question thread *is* a technicality! ;P ). But the trouble is that at the end of the day, you're comparing two different systems, the Ne for cotton and polyester, and the older Momme for silk. I don't know if there's a comparative value table out there. Even if there were, mommes refer to silk weight, rather than thread twist, which has a lot to do with shrinkage, strength and thickness.

Modern polyester thread--we're talking Gutermann here, or similar; anything of reasonable quality, so not the kind you get in a sewing kit, is what I'm saying--has a specific twist per meter, and so a specific and reliable thickness and tensile strength. Silk has no guaranteed TPM, so it's an unknown. It's also likely to shrink when washed, which is why you have to spend so much time teasing out the seams which have ruckled when you hand-wash a kimono. Unless the silk thread has been twisted at the same rate as the kimono silk, which is *very* unlikely, they will shrink at different rates when wet.

Polyester thread has the edge over silk in that it never shrinks. guaranteed.

Silk thread also, as anyone who collects old kimono will tell you, eventually degrades and disintegrates, meaning that the kimono literally falls apart in your hands. Of course it takes a lifetime for it to do that, so it's not a problem if you're making something to wear for yourself! But it does give you an idea of the fact that silk thread will get progressively more brittle as time goes on.

By and large polyester thread is slightly stronger, presuming it's corespun, as opposed to just spun. This might be where a lot of problems arise in quilting, because corespinning is a relatively recent development, whereas old spun poly thread simply wouldn't have the ductility. I know that the Omni corespun threads are now as ductile as cotton, so are becoming big in quilting, since they also don't stress the fabric as much on the pull-through, as even mercerised cotton does.

Cotton thread, as long as it's fine and mercerised (most are), would also work for kimono and certainly for yukata, though I don't know the TPM and so the shrink-rate of cotton thread.

Back to sewing kimono, as a collector of older kimono, among my hikizuri I've got three or four that have been stood on by the wearer either front or back, and the silk has ripped--at foot level, where the stress was placed. I've never seen any kimono which has been ripped across the center-back seam. Curious whether anybody has? :question:

I can see where sitting seiza for any length of time might put strain on a kimono, though. But again, I'm unconvinced whether silk or polyester thread will make the difference to a rip. Of course the less twisted the thread is, the more prone it is to snap, and so Japanese thread specifically made for kimono could well have a lower twist, which would help it snap.That's just a guess though? I'd definitely say stitch length would have a huge influence.

I know that placement of the horizontal back seam is absolutely necessary in hitoe kimono, to complete the internal seaming. And in any kimono from houmongi up, the seam is used to match the design to the right height for the wearer without having to cut the bolt. I've always secretly suspected that it may be a combination of those two things, and the Japanese adherence to tradition and there being a 'correct way' to do things, which has meant that the seam has crossed over into all kimono. Even with a komon, if you wanted to have the opportunity to resize it at a later date, you wouldn't want there to be a cut otherwise you've lost that option. So I've always thought it may be logic rather than this theory about a point at which the fabric may give without damage.

There's a very interesting article in PDF here, on like-for-like use of artificial and natural thread in conservation. Obviously it's a different field, but some of it is relevant. It's interesting that if a thread has too much stretch, the strain is re-transferred to the fabric itself, causing damage. But it seems very much that what will make the difference is two things; the *type* of natural or synthetic thread (filament versus staple), and whether you've hand-sewn or machine-sewn the kimono. Whether it rips depends on the amount of damage you've done to the fabric, and hand-sewing is far gentler on individual fibers.

At the end of the day, the fact is that the weak point of any fabric made into a garment is going to be not the thread, but the holes which you have pierced with a needle to thread it through. If you've made those holes, then you've damaged the fabric. Sewing by hand lessens this, as the fabric has time to move aside, whereas fabric under tension in a sewing machine is often split or broken. But you've still created the weak spot by sewing, whatever you do. So if you make a seam at the waist, you've created a potential for damage, whatever the thread you use.

That was long and rambling and came to n o conclusions, other than that making the seam at all is asking for trouble! Should have just stopped at the first line, I think! :oops:

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