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Chuck

Gutermann Polyester thread for making rope.

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I used ‚icing‘ with wallpaper glue for modeling braking waves for over 40 year now and had never any ant problem. But then I always lived in a European city environment with little wild-life ;)

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Chuck for clarification purposes, this discussion is talking about line that is 100% polyester and not the cotton covered polyester variety, correct? I have used the cotton/polyester line past and present and find it to be a very suitable choice. Just want to make sure the museum in question is asking for the line to be totally synthetic. The cotton covered polyester was mention briefly by one of your followers earlier.
 
Scott

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One of the advantages of the Mara product line is the large number of available colors. There are at least a dozen shades of brown in the catalogue that look like different kinds of rope. My personal favourites are #696 (pine tar) and #854 (hemp rope).

 

More information about Mara can be found here:

 

- Gütermann product website: https://industry.guetermann.com/en/products/mara

 

- Technology description: https://industry.guetermann.com/adbimage/6237/asset-original//mct-leaflet-thread-technology.pdf

 

- Available colors and thread sizes: https://schlemming.de/download/Farbkarte Mara.pdf

 

Klaus2127935880_MaraExamples.thumb.jpg.68e619b745128b720e84e16411e6270e.jpg

 

Edited by gorington

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6 hours ago, gorington said:

One of the advantages of the Mara product line is the large number of available colors. There are at least a dozen shades of brown in the catalogue that look like different kinds of rope. My personal favourites are #696 (pine tar) and #854 (hemp rope).

 

More information about Mara can be found here:

 

- Gütermann product website: https://industry.guetermann.com/en/products/mara

 

- Technology description: https://industry.guetermann.com/adbimage/6237/asset-original//mct-leaflet-thread-technology.pdf

 

- Available colors and thread sizes: https://schlemming.de/download/Farbkarte Mara.pdf

 

Klaus2127935880_MaraExamples.thumb.jpg.68e619b745128b720e84e16411e6270e.jpg

 

Hi Klaus

 

Were did you order this tread ? (Online) or store?

 

Svein.erik 

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@vaddoc, not really, I have been looking around, but have not really found anyone, who has the whole range of colours. However, I have been looking specifically for size 220 (10 tex), being the finest. Thicker ones may be easier to find.

 

One On-Line-Shop that seems to have quite a range is: http://www.tokokurzwaren.de/Naehgarne/Industrie/Naehgarn-Guetermann-Mara-220er-5-000m.html

 

Although the company is called Gütermann, one may need to search for the variants Guetermann or Gutermann as well.

 

I may write to company after the holidays to ask them for retail sources.

 

@Chuck, are you sure about the colour No. 2899 ? The colour-card quoted above (https://schlemming.de/download/Farbkarte Mara.pdf) does not list this one.

Edited by wefalck

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Ive used polyester on a couple ships I built 35 years ago when I couldnt care what I used. They are now in a delicate state of failure. They are so fragile they almost disintegrate when touched. Im surprised polyester was a choice for a museum.

 

BTW I love the look of your ropes. I am (for the past 5 years) in the process of rigging a clipper but stalled trying to make a  choice in rope material. After seeing this... Im back to "I dont care" what I use, I just have to get this ship off my work bench.

 

Thanks for reinforcing my "I dont care" attitude.

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1 hour ago, paul ron said:

I've used polyester on a couple ships I built 35 years ago when I couldnt care what I used. They are now in a delicate state of failure. They are so fragile they almost disintegrate when touched. Im surprised polyester was a choice for a museum.

This is very interesting, important, and helpful information. Those of us "of a certain age," are keenly aware of how short a span of time 35 years is. I have a 1/4" scale pilot schooner model (cased) I built forty years ago which is in excellent condition despite the limitations of materials technology available at that time. She is rigged with cotton thread.

 

Your experience with polyester thread mirrors my own experience using it (mistakenly) to sew full-scale marine canvas work. It lasted less than a year or so and then turned to crumbles. Prompted by your post, I did a bit of research and found to my surprise that polyester thread isn't recommended for use in UV exposed applications and in such only has a life-expectancy of about two years according to the manufacturers. Surely, polyester thread that is protected from direct UV exposure will last longer, but "longer" is a relative thing in this instance. Like most plastics, it will deteriorate over time, characteristically by becoming increasingly brittle, UV or not. The present state-of-the-art thread in terms of longevity is supposedly polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) thread. PTFE is basically Teflon. It's also the same stuff that white plumber's thread tape is made of. The manufacturers claim it is impervious to UV exposure and has an unlimited lifespan. It has a lower strength rating than polyester thread, but polyester thread's strength rapidly decreases as it ages until it is quickly less strong than PTFE thread. More recently, similarly "bulletproof" threads have become available, such as Kevlar and Nomex thread which are extremely strong and fire-resistant, respectively. 

 

As always, there's a catch. PTFE thread, which is the present "gold standard" costs three to ten times what polyester thread does. Kevlar and Nomex are even more expensive than that. Moreover, all of these polymer (plastic) threads are extremely difficult to color and generally require coloring at the time the fibers are manufactured, adding pigment when the plastic is compounded. This stuff can't be dyed by dipping it in strong coffee, to say the least. As the issue raised in this thread is primarily the increasing cost of natural fiber thread, it quickly becomes apparent that "you get what you pay for" and natural fiber, even at higher prices than in the past, is the most cost-effective alternative for getting the job done right.

 

From what I can see, polyester thread is about the last thing I'd ever want to use on anything I wanted to last. It is definitely not "archival." I'm with you. I can't for the life of me figure out why a respected museum would specify polyester thread for rigging models. Chuck apparently "has to dance with the girl he brought," because the museum which "pays the piper gets to call the tune," but if I were faced with similar circumstances, I'd make sure I'd made a record by sending them written notice that while the job would be done exactly as specified, I could not warrant the suitability of the materials specified. Nobody wants to have a customer coming back to bite you in the butt three or five years later, as they always do when their otherwise contraindicated specified method or material fails. That's been the case so often in boatyards with customers who insist the newest untried product on the market they saw advertised in a boating magazine be used for expensive maintenance jobs that the yards routinely "paper" the customer to make sure they are covered if the new coating or whatever turns out to be a dud.

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In his writings, Harold Hahn claimed that he used Nylon thread to rig his models.  Some of his models such as the Colonial Schooner Diorama at the Mariners Museum ar now over 40 years old.  I wonder how their rigging has held up.  He also used surgical silk, not noted for its longevity.

 

Roger

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@Svein Erik: My source for Mara 220 is http://www.tokokurzwaren.de/  The shop is in german language only. But they are also selling worldwide through amazon.com, yet not all available colors and sizes are advertised on amazon. It may be worth a try to mail them and ask about delivery to your country.

 

Other Mara sizes are more widely available online. In the UK, William Gee carries many of them, with all colors available through their website: https://www.williamgee.co.uk/shop/gutermann-threads-mara-150/

 

Klaus

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Polyester is not polyester. It comes in many different formulations and many seem to hold on quite well. I 'rigged' a couple of double-decker aiplane models with polyester thread as (once) used for mending ladies' tights when I was a teenager in the early 1970s. When I packed up the models at my parents' house in the mid 1980s, they were still ok without visible degradation in spite of being in the daylight all the time. I still have the same bobbins of polyester thread and use it from time to time, now some 45 years later, though it has been kept in a box, of course.

 

It is always a bit of a dilemma with new materials. On the other hand, if no one tried new materials, we would still use wood and stone. Artists tried new materials, sometimes it worked out, and sometimes these are a conservator's nightmare. I am personally inclined to take a chance, if the result now is better than using 'traditional' or 'natural' materials. Natural plant- or animal-based materials in principle all are prone to degradation - there is almost invariable some form of life that can use these materials as a source of energy and will attack them, if the environmental conditions are right. Some man-made fibres are better in this respect, as there is no form of life that has the right biochemistry to break them down.

 

Coming back to the Gütermann Mara thread: I looke a bit closer at the different sizes as per the technical and colour table linked above. It seems that size 220 is a 'single-fold' thread, i.e. it consist of a single thread of 135 dtex (which means that 10,000 metres of the thread weigh 135 g). Sizes 120 to 80 are two-fold threads of increasing thickness of the individual thread, sizes 70 to 15 are three-fold ones. The individual threads of the respective smallest two- and three-fold threads have nearly the same dtex number as Mara 220. This means that using Mara 220 to make a three-ply rope, you would arrive at same dtex number or weight as when using Mara 70 as a starting material.

 

Assuming that polyester has a specific density of 1.35 g / cm^3, 10,000 metres of a thread of 135 dtex would give a volume of 100 cm^3. With this we can calculate the approximate diameter of the thread: sqrt (100 cm^3 / 1,000,000 cm / Pi) x 2 = 0.11 mm for Mara 220. For the other threads you can calculate this yourself.

 

 

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Unfortunately not all colors are available in all sizes.  But yes that is the correct color number.  You cant rely on the color chart either. The colors only vaguely resemble the swatches.  There are plenty of sources in the states.  I am

fortunate to live just 6 miles 

from the garment district in NYC.  So i can get everything pretty easy. So no need for me to buy online.

 

I have decided to stick with all

natural stuff and am waiting for my supplier to custom dye a batch to match the lighter color shown.  Its gonna be a few weeks though before i get it.  

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Trying to get all the Gutermann atm (2899 what I like more is hard to find) ... haha ..thanks Chuck!

 

🙂

 

Dirk

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I will very shortly start making some Poly/cotton blend rope.   I am going to call this Syren's "Ultra Scale Rope" .  It will cost the same as my other Cotton/Linen rope which I will continue to sell as well.   But if one is preferred a great deal over the other I will discontinue the least favorite.  Only if sales really drop off on one of them.  Otherwise I will try and offer both.

 

Cotton-poly blend.jpg

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On 12/24/2018 at 4:06 PM, Chuck said:

I was able to replicate all of my current sizes of rope ranging from ,008 to ,080 in diameter using various strands of the thread sizes shown.

Chuck do you have kinda excel table what to use for what to get?

 

Dirk

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Not yet.....I will put one together once I start production.  But remember that the thread I am using is not the same.  I am using a blended thread now which is made in the USA.  The sizes are different.  I never made a chart when I was making the stuff for the museum using the Guttemann stuff.   I will check my notes though.

 

Chuck

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I’m in the process of making rope for my currant Morgan build so now might be a great time to stop and make a change in thread type. The size chart would make the testing easier, please put me on the list.

Will

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I gave this thread a try and I think Chuck is right, it looks pretty good.

 

I ve used polyester threads before and after they are twisted into a rope, they generally feel like cheap nylon cord. Not this one, the rope it produces is quite supple and it retains to a large degree the look of cotton rope. It still is plastic though so the rope will retain whatever shape you give it, unlike natural fibre ropes that lay as they will. I somehow feel it will not stretch with time under load which is a big plus. Mara 120 is very thin thread.

 

I ll stick to cotton for my current boat as I do not have a colour limitation but if I was making a period ship I think I would use this thread as there are endless colours to choose from and Chuck has provided the right numbers which can be found. Overall very positive results, at least on my home made ropewalk.

 

 

Regards

Vaddoc

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Posted (edited)
On 7/21/2019 at 1:46 PM, Dubz said:

Chuck do you have kinda excel table what to use for what to get?

Just a few of my tries, the twist of the rope produced was pretty tight. This thread has a right hand twist but can be untwisted and twisted the other way easily.

 

Mara 30

3x3 1.43 mm

2x3 1.06 mm

1x3 0.81mm

 

Mara 70

3x3 0.94 mm

Edited by vaddoc

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Chuck, have you tried working with Gutermann Skala? I am reading a lot of Russian modeling forums and it seems people prefer Skala (360/240/200) followed by Tera.

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Yes I dont see much of a difference.   Its just a personal preference.  Both work really well.

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