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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Sewing on buttons?


dutchbarge
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Hello, I've got a few tailor made, private purchase OSD tunics with loose or unattached buttons. I've been wanting to mend them (as presumeably they did during WW1) but have held off for want of information about what type of thread to use. The existing thread looks like heavy cotton or linen, olive drab. Some of the Forum members must have a bit of tailoring experience. What type of thread would be proper? And and even tougher question, where might such a thread be found? Cheers, Bill

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Hello, I've got a few tailor made, private purchase OSD tunics with loose or unattached buttons. I've been wanting to mend them (as presumeably they did during WW1) but have held off for want of information about what type of thread to use. The existing thread looks like heavy cotton or linen, olive drab. Some of the Forum members must have a bit of tailoring experience. What type of thread would be proper? And and even tougher question, where might such a thread be found? Cheers, Bill

Bill,

I recently gave away all my military thread (unfortunately) which I obtained from an infantry battalion regimental tailor in about 1980. They had been in his store for many decades and were labelled in paper with type classification and a crows foot. I do recall that virtually all the threads were made in Northern Ireland (Lisburn) and were in a dark khaki (not olive) shade of various thicknessses and either on large reels or wound around cards. They were all made of cotton, or waxed cotton and linen, and one in particular was labelled "button thread" and very thick with a make up rather like string or thin cordage. It was so strong that it would only have required a few turns by the tailor to secure buttons firmly, thus minimising the time taken per button.

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Bill,

...if it's any use, i use 'quilting thread'. This is thicker (and stronger) than the normal cotton or polycotton threads that are available today in the haberdashery shops. Traditional WD issue thread is very difficult to come by. The best bet would be to take one of the buttons with the thread still on it to one of the shops, and ask the staff for help in colour matching it for you.

tim

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Bill, I've got an enormous spool of heavy WW2 khaki cotton thread that I use for repairs. If you send me a self-addressed-stamped envelope, I'll give more than you should need. PM me for my mailing address . John

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Go to E-Bay and look in the crafts - sewing section for a few days there is a surprising amount of old button thread out there, and some on wooden reels.

G

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