Making Paper Threads: My Way

A bobbin with paper thread.

What I like is the irregularity of my thread: thick and thin and the black specks.

My thread is made from paper from Japanese account books I got at flea markets in Japan years ago. It’s commonly used for making paper threads. Long, long ago I made paper thread from old sewing pattern paper.

Before credit cards, people charged things on the pages in account books. Sometimes pages have red stamps which make the woven cloth even more interesting. I didn’t find any in this account book, though.

You take a page and fold and cut it in a certain way.

You pinch off the cut strips so you get a long length to make a thread.

You want a long length after you carefully pinch the uncut areas to separate the new thread from the cut paper.

Make a paper quill instead of using a plastic bobbin.

Starting the paper strip into the quill on the bobbin winder. I was told a spinning wheel can be used instead of a bobbin winder.

As you crank, guide the strip onto the tip of the winder so it twists the paper into the thread.

The thread will have lumps where the cut strips were pinched off the paper.

After twisting a bit, I wind the twisted paper onto the quill. Here you can see again that the paper was made into a long thread before twisting.

I used the clear illustrations and text to make my uneven threads with the slubs. You can also use the book to make paper that is absolutely regular if you prefer.