My first video post — break­ing and taper­ing lin­en thread

Here is my first shoe­mak­ing video. I shot this from a tri­pod look­ing down over my right shoulder so I couldn’t meas­ure out long lengths of thread without knock­ing the cam­era over, but this shows the basic ideas of break­ing lin­en or hemp thread into a taper and lay­ing up those tapers so when you ply the thread up you get a taper on the plied cord.

For instruc­tions on build­ing threads of longer lengths look at D.W. Frommer’s videos on the crispin col­loquy. These are videos of a real mas­ter at work, shot at much high­er qual­ity than I can man­age. He uses dac­ron thread though, which you taper dif­fer­ently to lin­en, and he shows dif­fer­ent meth­ods of attach­ing bristles than the one I settled on. What works for you will depend a lot on how your hands work and what you find easy. Mech­an­ic­ally they all work fine as long as you have good code/hand wax.

You need some code to do this. If you don’t have any, there are instruc­tions in this post.

I wanted to get this online so people could watch it before head­ing out to fest­iv­al in case any of those people who I taught to do this at Can­ter­bury Faire wanted a refresh­er. I hope the video makes sense if you haven’t seen that class, but if it doesn’t, fear not, more com­plete instruc­tions are com­ing once I get the pho­tos and text fin­ished. Typ­ing time is very much reduced right now owing to my hav­ing an even-more-buggered-than-nor­mal shoulder.

I will reshoot this some­time when I have an actu­al cam­era­man and I’m in a big enough space to do it with a prop­er length of thread. I’d also like to do this with an actu­al video cam­era. This was shot on my Can­on G9, which does pretty good video but not as good as an actu­al video cam­era would. I reen­coded it using mplay­er, which is hein­ously com­plic­ated to drive so this could prob­ably be smal­ler. It’s about 80MB at the moment, so be aware of that if you suf­fer from band­width caps.

Any­how, with all that said, on with the show!

Edit: The second part is here

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