Thread

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Thread is either animal or vegetable fibre spun into long, flexible strands. It is used in sewing, weaving and any number of other fibre crafts.

Thread can be made of a great many different materials including:

  • Wool - (mostly from sheep but also from lesser animals if nothing else was available). Wool tended to snap more easily, and so was used for cheaper projects or where warmth alone was the important factor. Linnen or silk thread was preferred as it was stronger for the width, but wool was more easily felted and kept the rain out due to natural lanolins.
  • Cotton - a rare material in period - mainly imported from Egypt and India
  • Hemp
  • Linnen - The most common thread in period - came from flax and the best flax grew in Holland?
  • Silk - expensive during period too, but very desireable for best thread strength as well as brighter colours (it takes dye well), and also for it's fineness (the fibre staple is very long, allowing for a few fibres to twine for a great length). Generally imported from China
  • Some metals eg gold thread spun around a core of silk or linnen. Period artisans could get this quite thin by the mid period. Vikings just used thin metal wires (eg silver). Gold was most desireable, and most used as it didn't tarnish like silver.