Following an age-old tradition, lace threads are graded according to an English numbering system (NE), which correspond to the number of skeins measuring 840 yards (768.1 metres) per English pound (453.6 grammes). The lower the number, the thicker the thread and the higher the number, the finer the thread. This is a N° 24 thread (the thickest in the range), formed of three strands, thus it is referred to as 24/3.
For those who wish to calculate the English numbering (NE) into metric numbering (NM) to determine the number of metres of thread contained in a kilo of thread, the method is quite easy. Simply divide the English number by 0.5905.
Optical white is whiter than white. In other words, the threads have been treated with an optical whitener (with a blueish tone), the eye tends to see white brighter and more radiant when it has a touch of blue. This optical white lace thread is available in 11 thicknesses. See previous page to understand the numbering system.
Off-white lace thread is softer than the optical white. In fact, the name is a bit misleading as it is more of a "normal" white, whereas the optical white has been treated with a brightener giving it a slightly bluey hue, making it appear whiter to the human eye. To understand the thread numbers, see the previous page.
Egyptian cotton is considered to be the Rolls Royce of cottons. The fibres are longer than other types. It is carded then combed making the fibres longer and finer. The threads are then singed, passing through a gas-fed flame, which removes all fluff making it particularly smooth. It is then mercerised to give a glossy, resistant thread.
The first number on the labels of our lace threads indicates the thickness of the thread (the lower the number, the thicker the thread) and the second number indicates the number of strands (or ply) twisted together to make the thread. Thus a 24/3 is 3 strands twisted together. Depending on the thickness of the thread, these reels contain 1000 or 500 metres.