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Finding Flax Thread - Tips?

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I have  a very old Aurora/Heller 1/50th scale model of the French ship class "Le Chebec". I have finally gotten it mostly together, but I have run out of the rigging thread then supplied. Heller now makes the same ship by themselves and I was able to download the new instructions. They now say the thread is not supplied and that I need .03mm, .06mm and .09mm Flax Thread (beige). I can't seem to find this anywhere locally (in NC, USA) and no luck on the internet.


Can anyone provide a tip for where to find this? So close after 30+ years to finishing this model....


Thanks in advance for any help! 

Edited by Dstevenson81
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Since no one else seems to want this:

Flax is the plant - the fiber that is made from the crushed/combed stalk is generally know as linen.

You may have better luck searching for linen yarn or linen thread.  Linen fibers are something like a magnitude more course than cotton, so what is generally known as thread with cotton is a yarn with linen.

That said, if your desired line sizes are correct, you would do better looking for spider silk.  The finest that I have is:

100/3 lea and the diameter is 0.0088 inches  @ 1:48  0.42 inches dia or 1.3 inches circumference.   This is 0.22 mm dia.


That came from :  http://www.threadneedlestreet.com/ .....  thread - linen    http://www.threadneedlestreet.com/


If you have the size you want wrong, then a straight forward solution is :  http://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/miniature-rope.php


Rigging line can be confusing.   At model scales, we tend to use diameter to determine size.  It is usually measured by counting the number of cycles per inch on a dowel.

I think the old rigging books for the full size ships used rope circumference.  It would be much easier for them to measure - a piece of string and a ruler.

Diameter is would be difficult to directly measure -  the rope deforms when you "mic" it directly.





Linen is a challenge because there are several standards - lea is the one I use.

100/3  means that  three yarns of 100 size are twisted up into a thread. It can be used directly for rigging. It is not too different from #100 Mercerized cotton thread in size.


8/3 linen  is three 8 lea yarns and is close to twine in size.   With lea  - the larger the value, the finer the yarn.


Linen yarn is a raw material for a rope walk to turn into miniature rope


You could do a search here = ropewalk    to get some idea


sources :  http://www.theobrejaart.nl/   for linen yarn         http://www.theobrejaart.nl/frame.html


http://www.villagespinweave.com/IBS/SimpleCat/Product/asp/hierarchy/0705/product-id/744625.html   linen yarn  http://www.villagespinweave.com/IBS/SimpleCat/Product/asp/hierarchy/0705/product-id/744625.html

Edited by Jaager
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Linen can also be found on E-Bay under the name many times of Cuttyhunk or fishing line.  That is usually much larger though but a cleaner form of linen.  I have searched high and low for nice linen without nubs and have been unable to find it in the last ten years of so.  I have reluctantly gone to DMC Cordonnet cotton thread and found it to work nicely in my rope machine.  Good luck!

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I agree with Dee_Dee - could well be the color.  I did buy some linen thread recently to experiment with a ropewalk. As mentioned it is often sized as something like 18/3 or 30/3.   When I was searching for thread I noticed a lot of sites related to antique books sell it. I believe it it used in the binding.


Of the 3 threads I ended up with, 2 were manufactured in Germany, 1 in Ireland.  One interesting side note, virtually all thread you buy is a right lay.  The 2 German threads were left lay.

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My measurements of the Threadneedle Street product:


Size           dia.           1/48 dia           1/48 cir.

100/3        0.0088       0.42                 1.3

80/3          0.01           0.48                 1.5

50/3          0.012         0.6                   1.86

30/3          0.019         0.09                 2.8


I did not get any 18/3  but from my ropewalk:

20/3          0.025         1.14                 3.6


the largest that I have:

8/2 /3       0.059          2.8                   8.9


The stock was 8/2 lea  three lines turned up.

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Thanks a ton folks. This is indeed helpful.  I now see that I was in error though. It is calling for .3, .6 and .9 mm flax thread. The orignal rigging thread that was in the box and listed as "medium" and "thick" is fairly stout and somewhat rigid (great for getting through the knots!). I assume they would be the .6 and .9mm thread mentioned in the newer instructions.


I'll take a look at the sites listed and report back. Thanks again!

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Awesome! Looks like I found it. There is a rope chart found at the site Jaager sent ( http://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/miniature-rope.php) and I was able to match up what I needed. That site also converts from standard to metric. Turns out I need .012 standard (or .3mm).


Just goes to show that one is never too old to learn! Thanks again everyone! :-)

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