How is the thread thickness calculated? We are asked this question on an almost daily basis. It is not simple, especially as the calculation differs in function of the thread. In principle, France uses metric numbering (NM) since 1942 for cotton yarn: a thread measuring 1,000 metres with a constant weight of 1,000 grams. Thus a N°1 is a thread which weighs 1000 grams for 1,000 metres and, for example, a N°40 is a thread weighing 1,000 grams for 40,000 metres. But, for historical reasons, not all the producers follow this rule. You will find a detailed article in Madame Sajou's Diary.
The Fil Au Chinois thread labels work by colours. The cotton thread has a green label, the all-purpose polyester has a violet label, the patchwork thread a pink label, gloving thread a turquoise label, the creative threads (metallic, variegated and rayon) a grey thread and the silk threads are decorated with a black label. Our 100m spools of cotton thread with their green label are available in 96 colours.
The Fil Au Chinois cotton threads are singed and mercerised. When a thread is singed, it is passed through a gas flame which removes all the fluff and makes it smooth. Mercerisation is a process involving treating the thread with a caustic soda solution, which makes it easier to dye, shinier and more resistant to rotting.
When Ets Toulemonde took over the Fil Au Chinois brand in 2007, these wooden bobbins were one of the first products we developped together. They represent the quintessence of vintage haberdashery. Beautiful, solid and a taste of days gone by rummaging through granny's sewing box. The thread is the same quality as on our green label classic cotton.
These reels representing ladies in traditional regional costumes are a combination of two of my favourite things: vintage haberdashery and traditional dress. In fact, the two subjects are relatively close because the costumes are made up of many fabrics, ribbons, lace and embroidery. The labels for these reels are directly inspired by cross stitch models which can be found in the Red Sajou albums n°s 913 and 914.
The thread on these reels is the same quality as our Fil Au Chinois classic cotton.