Puppet String

This is the place for Technical Tips, Questions and Answers.

Puppet String

Postby Chris » 12 Mar 2011, 23:27

On another website I was replying to a query about suitable string for marionettes. I know some of the Punch fraternity have wider puppet interests, and so this information may be useful to someone.

The No.18 Carpet Thread that used to be widely available is now quite difficult to source. It is readily available in large quantity but this is far too expensive for the hobbyist. It used to be available on cards from Woolworths as well as nearly any haberdashery, and one card had sufficient thread to string a complete marionette. It was also available in a variety of colours. Normally we used black, although many Victorian puppets were strung on green thread.

Another possibility is thread sold by suppliers of bookbinding equipment. The size you want is 18/4.
However this is usually only available in white. You can of course dye it
and the way to do this is to wind it round a glass rod before you boil it. However if doing this be careful that you buy the right stuff - many of the bookbinders suppliers offer a waxed thread. This will not take dye.

However the ideal is still No. 18 Carpet Thread. This was produced by Barbours of Lisburn, Northern Ireland. This can still be obtained over the internet from America where you can still buy large spools, and they are still marked Barbours of Lisburn. Someone must have imported very large quantities since the company have not been there for some years.

As far as I can find out they were taken over by Coates. A place where you can get No. 18 carpet thread is Dunelm Mill, a wonderful super store with craft materials, fabrics, haberdashery, stationery and much else. If you have a branch near you you may be lucky. If their haberdashery section is serviced by Coates then you will be able to get the carpet thread. But not all Dunelm branches do use the same haberdashery supplier. For example my local one in Bangor doesn't, and consequently carpet thread isn't available there, whereas the Wolverhampton branch is serviced by Coates and carpet thread is on sale.

Find your nearest store:

If you are unlucky then Dunelm Mill, Wolverhampton may supply by post. You could contact the Wolverhampton branch by phone and ask. 0190 287 1806
It's good to squawk!
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 3289
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Return to Punch Workshop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest