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Availability of DMC Cabella Cotton for Rope Making


tlevine

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I use DMC crochet cotton to make up my rope.  I just tried to reorder it and discovered that it is no longer being sold by the company except in the large diameters (10-30).  All my usual sources either have stopped carrying it or mark it as out of stock.  I was able to find the sizes needed on Ebay and bought enough to last a few years.  

 

So if you use this product to make your rope, stock up while there is still some available.

Toni


Chairman Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

Member Midwest Model Shipwrights

 

Current Builds:     

Completed Builds: Longboat - 1:48 scale       HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale       Half Hull Planking Project      Capstan Project     Swallow 1779 - 1:48 scale               Echo Cross Section   

Gallery:  Hannah - 1:36 scale.

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Its happening all over....They are pretty much stopping production all around for the smooth all-cotton Corrodonant threads.  Most people are buying the acrylic and poly stuff now for crochet.  Its a shame.  Its too expensive to make and fewer and fewer people are enjoying that hobby now.  The remaining companies who do sell it have a poor quality product as well.   Lizbeths and Aunt Lidias are a fuzzy lumpy mess.   Valadini is very fuzzy with limited sizes etc.  The remaining stuff from DMC is too soft and loosely laid up.  The most promising 100% cotton product I found was Aurifil.  If you insist on an all natural product give this a try.  

 

Use the size 50 wt, 40wt, and 28 wt.   Stay away from the 12wt thread.  Its expensive and is too fuzzy.  But the other smaller sizes are pretty good.

 

Over the last few months I have bought and tried every commercial source because my current supplier has raised their prices by 40%.  So the market at least in the US is getting tough.  Import taxes have killed this cotton/linen non-synthetic product.  Its mostly made in Europe.  You can buy Anchor crochet thread in Europe however.   It used to be very good.   Dont know if they also stopped making some sizes.  Its put out by DMC as well, but not available in the US.

 

I have contracted with another custom MFG of threads, this time in Upsate NY.  You tell them what you want and they make it.   Core spun..Mercerized.....what percentage of cotton.....what percentage of poly ....what color pantone swatch to dye it, etc.

 

Unfortunately you must order a ton of it as usual.   They said their straight up cotton or linen will be fuzzy too!!!  Samples proved this was the case.  So I have ordered a cotton/poly test run in four sizes.  So far the results are excellent.  Here is an example of my first test with the stuff where I developed the recipes to make all the rope sizes I need to offer.  No fuzz.....it feels more natural than pure POLY like Gutterman.  It doesnt unravel at all.   So I may switch to using this "Syren" Brand thread or at least offer both in the near future.   I sent Rusty some to test on his Longboat project.  We shall see.

 

Cotton-poly blend.jpg

So for the time being I am sticking with my current supplier.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the bad news, Chuck.  This will be another reason to avoid rigging any more ships.

Toni


Chairman Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

Member Midwest Model Shipwrights

 

Current Builds:     

Completed Builds: Longboat - 1:48 scale       HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale       Half Hull Planking Project      Capstan Project     Swallow 1779 - 1:48 scale               Echo Cross Section   

Gallery:  Hannah - 1:36 scale.

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As I am in between projects, I was encouraged to rig my 1:96 Mantua Victory that I abandoned 10+ years ago.  Thus the concern about  rigging supplies.   I only have the lower and topmast standing rigging completed, so there is still a long way to go.

Toni


Chairman Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

Member Midwest Model Shipwrights

 

Current Builds:     

Completed Builds: Longboat - 1:48 scale       HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale       Half Hull Planking Project      Capstan Project     Swallow 1779 - 1:48 scale               Echo Cross Section   

Gallery:  Hannah - 1:36 scale.

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Do you mean the DMC Cebelia thread?  

 

Which DMC thread have people found work best for rope making?  The Cordonnet comes in sizes as small as 100, but only seems available in white or ecru.  Do people dye it?  Even the ecru seems to light to me.  

 

The Babylo comes in sizes 10-30 in good colors and seems to have very little fuzz.  The Cebelia comes in sizes 10-30 and seems a little fuzzier.  But I'm just going from pictures on the internet.  Are these sizes too large? 

 

What sizes should I look for to stock up for making rope in the 1/64 to 1/24 scale ranges?  In other words, rope from about .008 to .035 ish when laid.   I'm about to get Chuck's rope walk and want to try to get some thread that I can use for the right size ropes while they're still available, if possible.  

 

Chuck mentions Aurifil thread.  I can find it in 50wt.  I'll give that a try.

Edited by Griphos
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I did, Griphos.  My post suffered from auto-correct.  That is a wide range of scales.  For 1/8 scale (1:96) I use size 60 for 4" rope and size 50 for 5"rope.  The larger sizes are made up from three or four strands of size 60 to 100.  Keep in mind that everyone lays rope a little differently.  In fact, I can use the same thread on both of my rope walks and get different sizes of rope.

Toni


Chairman Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

Member Midwest Model Shipwrights

 

Current Builds:     

Completed Builds: Longboat - 1:48 scale       HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale       Half Hull Planking Project      Capstan Project     Swallow 1779 - 1:48 scale               Echo Cross Section   

Gallery:  Hannah - 1:36 scale.

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I meant 1:24 to 1:64, or 1/2" to 3/16" scale, but mostly 1/4" scale.  So, larger scale.  

 

If I'm doing my math correctly, most lines on ships in those scales will fall between about .01 to .08 actual size of model line.  So, that's what I'm wanting to make.  When you say 4" or 5" rope, I'm assuming you mean circumference.  If I'm understanding correctly, again, a 5" circumference line at 1:96 would be about .016 or so in scale size.  So, you use size 50 thread to make that.  Extrapolating, that means maybe the size 30 Babylo or Cebelia thread wouldn't be too big for making the biggest lines I'd use.  At 1:24, a 5" rope would be .065, and at 1:48, it would be .035 ish.  

 

Is it better to make bigger line from more strands of smaller thread, or 3 or 4 strands of larger thread.  

 

Sorry to pester with these questions, but I've never found a good source of information on rope making that discusses these sorts of things.  They all discuss how to do it, or how to make a rope walk, etc.  But info is scarce (as far as I've found) on types and sizes of thread to use.  

 

Anyway, I have a little more time for research.  I just looked at my cart again and see that the rope walk was removed because out of stock.  So I have to wait for Chuck to make a new batch.  🙂

Edited by Griphos
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Another question.  I hope those knowledgeable will chime in on some of these.  🙂

 

If people use the 60-100 size Cordonnet thread, in white or ecru, and then dye it to look more realistic (tan or dark brown), do you dye it as thread and then make rope, or make rope and then dye it?  

Edited by Griphos
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You can do it both ways.....but its easier to dye the rope afterwards.   Look at videos where they show how folks dye yarn.   They will tell you everything you need to know.

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Griphos, I have never tried using more than four strands when laying up rope.  For very large ropes I will take three or four smaller made-up ropes and put them in the ropewalk.  I prefer to use ecru as this has not been bleached.  I have tried many different things to dye the rope, including Minwax, Rit fabric dye, shoe dye and India ink.  They all color the thread.  It becomes a matter of personal preference as to the appearance one is after.  You simply have to experiment on small batches of heavier thread (don't waste rope for this) to see what works for you.  Currently I am using Minwax Jacobean (two dips a day apart) for the standing rigging and Minwax Fruitwood (one quick dip) or gray diluted artist acrylic for the running.

Toni


Chairman Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

Member Midwest Model Shipwrights

 

Current Builds:     

Completed Builds: Longboat - 1:48 scale       HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale       Half Hull Planking Project      Capstan Project     Swallow 1779 - 1:48 scale               Echo Cross Section   

Gallery:  Hannah - 1:36 scale.

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I was just going to use Rit dye.  I've used it before.  But the Minwax idea is worth trying.  I have a lot of Minwax around that I can try to see how it looks.  And I'll pick up the two you mention as well.  

 

Thanks for the other tips on building up bigger lines.  I'm slowly getting the idea, I think.  Chuck says never to use only 2 strands, so I guess single strands, or 3-4 on each hook is the general rule.  

 

So, I think I'll try to find some Cordonnet Ecru in sizes 60-100 and get them before they're gone.  I can get the larger sizes (Cebelia or Babylo in size 30) anytime I think.  I ordered some of the Aurifil Chuck suggested in 50 wt in two colors.  I couldn't find any Cebelia on eBay any smaller than 30, so you may have got the last of it!  🙂

 

Now I just need him to stop making so many blocks and get some more rope walks built.  🙂  (I should have clicked the order button when it was first in my cart and not dithered around wondering if I wanted to order some sample rope as well).  I did wind up ordering some rope from him to rig my skipjack, so I'll have some idea of what I'm aiming for as well.

 

Edited by Griphos
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I'd suggest alcohol-based aniline dye rather than water-based like Ritt, it would dry much faster and not effect the line in any way except coloring it. I don't like pigment-based stains, they always obscure what they're staining to some degree, most staining I do now is with dye.

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I've used aniline dye on wood projects in the past.  Can't say I've liked it much to stain wood, but that means I have quite a bit of aniline dye powder laying around in the shop.  I'll mix some up with alcohol and see how it does.  Thanks for the tip.

 

I've ordered one or two balls of Cordonnet 60, 70, 80 and 100 in ecru, so with the Aurifil 50wt spools I ordered, I should have a good start.  

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