Linen Thread

Unwaxed linen thread, in a creamy off-white colour: 100% linen, available in three different thicknesses, sold in 10 yard packs.

Linen thread is very versatile, being extremely strong, and quite stiff, and having the valuable property of actually becoming stronger when wet. This makes it particularly useful for outdoor hobbies such as re-enactment: not just for clothing, but for mending canvas tents, leather items, for making books, even for fletching authentic arrows. And that’s not all - it also has many uses in crafts, such as threading beads or jewellery, for instance, or for rigging in model ships. This thread is available in three thicknesses: 16/3, 30/3 and 35/3, and is genuine smooth, top quality, Irish thread, not the rather "bobbley" european imported stuff.

Here is the thickest thread, 16/3, to give you an idea of scale (left).

In case you are not familiar with Linen thread, it is described by number, ie 30/3: the first number relates to the thickness, the second number to the ply or number of individual threads twisted together. All our linen threads are 3-ply, and the lower the first number, the thicker the thread.

You will also see linen thread sold by the cop (old-fashioned name for reel) or cone (large cone-shaped reel for using on industrial sewing machines) or by weight, which is singularly unhelpful: or worst of all, by Lea. Lea is the number of yards of a given thickness of thread in a pound weight of linen, divided by 300. So a thread described as 1 lea has just 300 yards to the pound - ie very thick indeed - but we needn’t worry about that, as we are selling it in neat 10 yard packs.

If you are not sure which is the right thickness for your purposes (and I wouldn’t blame you, with all these complicated numbers!) send us an sae, and we will send you a sample of all three, to help you decide. If you'd like samples, just email us at

Generally speaking, the thickest thread, 16/3, is very suitable for heavy-duty uses such as mending footwear, book-making, bead-work etc.

The 30/3 and 35/3 weights are suitable for hand-sewing, when making clothes from linen, obviously: but also for hand-sewing buttonholes, attaching buttons, anywhere where you need extra strength. If you participate in Living History, then you will need to be using linen thread, not cotton, for all hand-sewing.

Linen threads are also very good for lucet work.

The thread is supplied in 10 yard lengths on a card, in a re-sealable grip-top plastic bag. This ensures that it arrives safely with you, and allows you to keep it clean and neat while you are using and storing it.

The cost is £5 per pack, each pack contains 10 yards of thread, this price includes postage & packing, and is the same price for 16/3, 30/3 and 35/3 thread.

Three packs - any thickness, mix and match - for £12.

Payment: For PayPal, we'll invoice you, so if you have an account just send us that email address: if you don't have a PayPal account, you can still pay that way: PayPal allow you to pay as a "guest" with your own credit card. Simple and quick! Just email us at with your order and your full postal address, and we'll invoice you: when you receive the email from Paypal, just follow the simple instructions to use your own credit card to pay the invoice.