Originally Posted by Gdot
Does using the synthetic threads have any implications beyond those related to environmental concerns?
Logistical or Practical concerns?
Since you addressed this question to Sully, I would ask you to pardon me if I am butting in...but I doubt any manufacturer or even bespoke maker today uses natural threads to do top stitching. It's all
nylon or some form of polyester, AFAIK. You can't even buy machine twist silk anymore.
It is true that some (more and more actually) bespoke makers are using synthetics (dacron/polyester) for inseaming, as well.
The reasons for this are several....first, good linen yarn has been very difficult to find for some time. Linen yarn is made from flax. When handled and prepared correctly the "staple" (the length of each individual fiber in the yarn) can be up to three feet long. Long staple gives strength to linen just as it does to wool. Such quality has not really been available since before WWII. And just last (year) the last of the great Irish linen mills closed their doors. Today, almost all the linen thread or yarn on the market has a staple of less than three inches and closer to 1.5 inches. Some makers are using vintage yarns simply because the contemporary stuff is of such poor quality. But the vintage product is scarce...very scarce.
Additionally, linen is an organic material. Traditionally it was waxed with a pine tar and rosin based concoction that had great anti-bacterial properties. The bacterial and other organisms that live freely and thrive on the surface of the skin especially in moist warm environments such as the inside of a shoe regard untreated linen with the same relish as many of us regard romain hearts.
Short staple linen is available but it cannot compare to the older stuff.And in the absence of that strength, nothing recommends it over other alternatives.
There is no downside to using dacron thread for inseaming aside from the fact that it is
a synthetic--a significant downside for some of us but unavoidable, perhaps, at least in the long term. And it is actually stronger less prone to rotting and deterioration and far more readily available.