Monday, October 19, 2009

5. Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling Post 5.

Yesterday, I talked starting talking about tools, we covered pliers/grabbers/thimbles. Thanks very much to Annejala for her comments. I would love to hear about other tools you all use!

Still considering #2, Tools, today we will consider binder, which as i said before, is technically a material, because it is used up, but for our purposes, we will cover it under tools....

Binder. Binder should work with you, not against you. For this reason, I feel that raffia and upholstery thread are not binders for beginners. They should be used by experienced coilers only. The binder I recommend for beginners or for those struggling is artificial sinew. It is also called waxed nylon. This binder is very strong, and because it is waxed, the drag through the core is reduced. It also allows the stitch to remain where placed with much greater accuracy. The stitches are not sliding around all the time, or losing tension. Waxed linen is the second choice, but I think should only be attempted by those at the intermediate stage. If you are having trouble, I recommend switching to artificial sinew, whatever your experience level. Sinew is also adaptable in that it can be flat (like raffia) or round (like upholstery thread and linen.) It is responsive and adaptable, and can be split into many different widths to accommodate your project.

I would love to hear about your binder adventures, please leave a positive comment here for everyone to read! Thanks

The next post will move on to your habits, consideration #3.


J. Anthony Stubblefield said...


Oh I hated stitching with raffia when I tried. It could have been that I had the wrong kind of raffia or it was old, but it was very frustrating for me to use. At the time that I started coiling I had just taken a loom weaving class and had this tightly plied wool warp yarn around. It was extra material I have sitting there so used it for some of my first coiled baskets. It worked really well for the basic stitch I was (and still) using. It was very strong so held up well.

I have since started using waxed linen which is very similar in size to the wool warp yarn. I have some of the artificial sinew (from my dream catcher making days), but have only played with it. I need to get some black sinew, I like the way it looks as stitching.

I don't even know what size needles I have. I think they are basically needle point needles, e.g. they are blunt with a really big eye. For the size baskets I have made they seem to work well, but since I haven't really tried any others I guess I don't have anything to compare them to. I have had to use a thimble before, but my man fingers are to big for a standard thimble and usually end up making my finger tip hurt. I did buy a "quilter's" thimble the other day, but have yet to use it. The basket I have started hasn't required one yet.

Thanks for the posts, they have been very interesting and informative.


PS - Did you see that your posts inspired me to blog about my recent coiling experience? - T

Annejala said...

I have tried raffia and artificial sinew. I have been very please with the results I get when using artificial sinew. The first pine needle basket I saw years ago was done with raffia. I love the color of the raffia but I don't like to work with it. I agree, raffia can be very frustrating for beginners. My preference is artificial sinew. Thanks for your input. Annejala