How to Order
You can place orders via email and save a bit of money that way, or find me on Folksy or Etsy. Please download the Büchertiger Supplies price list (PDF) to help you choose and I am (very) slowly working on a price list for my Büchertiger Press items, Journals and Prints, too.
Then go to the contact page to find a way to contact me that’s convenient for you. If you need something that’s not in my catalogue, please do drop me a line nevertheless. I often carry a bit more than is on the page, or I might be able to direct you to somewhere else. – Asking for a price and time estimate for any item is non-binding and free of any costs.
You can find the full terms and conditions here.
Covid, Brexit, and International Shipments
Pressures from Covid and Brexit still slow down royal mail a bit, and they are not quite as reliable as it used to be. But broadly speaking, within the UK, things are almost back to what they were before the pandemic.
International shipments suffer from the same problem, depending on the location they might be (almost) back to what you were used to or still delayed badly, it’s hard to give a general prediction.
When ordering to outside the UK please let me know from the start. – I can’t offer all services to everywhere.
In 2007 I was still living and working in Germany and founded Büchertiger (meaning book tiger), offering bookbinding courses to children and teenagers. I quickly had to realise that many of the more colourful materials that would be attractive to them -and me- were surprisingly hard to get by. Especially coloured linen thread was very hard to buy, and it took me a long time to find good suppliers, who then would only sell in bulk… which was the beginning of Büchertiger Supplies. At the start I only offered customers to buy excess materials, but after moving to Nottingham, UK, I reopened with a focus on natural bookbinding supplies, especially linen thread.
Well, before you all head off, let me show a some of my stock:
**Newest Addition** Headbanding Silk and Barbour’s Linen Thread
Gütermann Headbanding Silk
Beautiful lush silk, a broad range of colours, what more do you need? This is the go-to headbanding silk for handstitched endbands on a fine binding. I currently stock a range of 41 colours, that should make choosing easy. – Or maybe extra difficult?
Also suitable for exquisite ornamental stitches in textile design and hand-sewn apparel, buttonholes, and decorative seams and embroidery.
Gruschwitz WMZ, NeL 18/3Z
This German linen thread is firmly twisted and then calendered which makes it strong and gives it a faint sheen. It is not waxed. It is advisable to wax it by hand (it can be machine waxed if you have a waxing machine) before using it to sew leather.
If you are going to use it for bookbinding you probably will want to wax it, too. With some experience, it can be used non-waxed for smaller volumes which for open spine bindings has the advantage of no wax on the outside. This is an advantage since wax attracts dirt and dust like a magnet.
There are 20 different colours available from Gruschwitz. Most have a beautiful, natural greyish-ness to it, characteristic of only mildly bleached threads.
Somac Thread 4/18 and 3/18
This linen thread is produced in England. It is available in 4-ply and 3-ply, is non-waxed and of very high quality. It has not been calandered like the Gruschwitz thread which gives it a matte finish and makes it softer than other bookbinding threads in my stock.
It should be waxed before sewing leather with it. If you are going to use it to bind books you probably want to wax it, too, because the wax makes the thread on the one hand slightly sticky, which makes it easier to makes knots and looks, at the same time it reduces fraying and accidental loops. However, with a bit of practise it can be used as it is, which has some advantages, especially when you are sewing exposed bindings where the wax on the thread might otherwise attract dust and dirt.
There are 12 colours available of the 4-ply thread, and unfortunately only 9 of those also for the 3-ply.
Crawford’s Waxed Irish Linen Thread
Crawford’s waxed Irish linen thread is used for a variety of traditional crafts, including leather sewing, bookbinding, and all sorts of crafts that include knotting (like macrame and basket weaving) like all linen threads. It is by many considered the best thread for beginners and when making Coptic bindings as the thick wax coating makes it easy to handle and let the chain pattern on the book’s spine stand out nicely.
I have the largest selection of colour in the 4-ply range, but also occasionally have other sizes in stock.
Before using it, it is advisable to run it between your fingers several times to get rid of excess wax and to give a smoother finish and thread.
The wide range of different colours is the main advantage of this thread. With broad selection of bright colours to choose from, it is rare not to find a match. Some of the colours in my shop can’t even be found in other stores, like coffee, dark moss or cherry.
Barbour’s Irish Linen Thread (4-ply)
Irish Linen Thread in general and Barbour in particular, is famed for its quality and strength, and although no flax is grown and made into linen thread in Ireland anymore, the big brand lives on and does not disappoint in quality. This is a non-waxed thread that can (and should) be waxed by hand before sewing leather and making books with it.
I am slowly building stock and currently offer 9 different colours. But since I am building stock anyway, you are welcome to inquire about a colour you are specifically seeking; I might be able to help you there.
Goldschild Line Thread, NeL 18/3
Goldschild thread is not as tightly twisted as the other linen threads in my range, and therefore feels softer. It cannot be broken by hand but has to be considered weaker, especially since the weaker twist makes it more vulnerable to abrasion damage.
When waxed before usage, it holds up reasonably well for sewing books. However, due to its weaker structure, I can only recommend it for light (one or two section) bindings, and for stab bindings like an Asian binding. It would be suitable for sewing headbands, though, and could be a really nice touch on a rustic book for which silk thread doesn’t quite seem to match the style.
Goldschild thread is a top choice for as a crochet or embroidery thread. The thread is not suitable for sewing leather.
Fil Au Chinois, Lin Cable
Ah, lin cable, the most lush among the linen threads. This thread has been cabled, which means it has been twisted twice. This makes the thread especially even and round and enhances abrasion resistance and strength in general. When viewed from very close it looks more like very fine rope rather than thread (that’s the look of the cabling).
It is thinly waxed before cabling which gives the thread its luxurious sheen whithout making it the slightest bit sticky.
Without a doubt this is the best thread you will find for creating leather products. Like other linen thread it can be used where-ever a strong thread is needed. For example for creating puppets on a string, just to name one. And of course it can be used for bookbinding. As it is so especially strong, it is not suitable for conservation work.
The thread is produced in 5 different thicknesses, I currently stock 44 colours in their two thickest calipers (called 332 and 432), and a smaller variety in the thinner sizes 532 and 632. I am planning to expand the range of available colours and thicknesses slowly over time, so feel free to ask if you are interested in a colour or thickness that’s not currently listed.
Yue Fung Linen Thread (HongKong Brand)
This high quality linen thread is tightly twisted and lightly waxed to give it a pleasant sheen and reduce fraying. It is a beautiful and versatile leather sewing thread, available in 4 thicknesses with diameters of 0.65mm, 0.55mm, 0.45mm and 0.35mm.
It also serves well as a bookbinding thread, especially the two thickest threads will serve well for most exposed bindings. The high twist and the light waxing makes it possible to use it without additional wax, but if you run into problems, you can always add some more by hand to tame the thread a little.
Professional Bookbinding Thread
It is of course 100% twisted linen thread, made from the longer line part of the flax fibre. This thread is suitable for conservation work, and meets the highest requirements. The Fil Au Chinois, Lin Retors thread is available in the thicknesses 12, 20, 25, 30, and 40. The thread is thicker if the number is lower.
This thread should be hand waxed before usage.
Fil Au Chinois, Fil de Lin
This French linen thread is a pleasant simple kitchen thread. It is sold in 30m balls in only this one white colour. It is food safe, and can be used to tie up meat, cabbage rolls, or whatever you need to tie and then cook. Apart from kitchen use it is good for all kinds of uses, from building kits to wrapping gifts. It is probably the strong thread your mother or grandmother had in that drawer in the kitchen.
It is produced in three different thicknesses which I all stock.
Varigated Linen Thread Nm 60/3, Stef Francis
Nm 60/3 converts to NeL 100/3, so it is fairly thin.
Stef Francis is a family owned small business that hand dyes all their threads in South England.
This thread is sold on skeins which hold 57m of thread.
Fine Silk Thread, Stef Francis
Stef Francis is a family run small business in South England where the thread is hand-dyed. There are lots of wonderful colours available, some just have a slight variation that makes the colour pop and appear more organic, others come in wild varigations.
This thread is sold on skeins which hold 28m.
Silk Perle 5, Stef Francis
I also used it for endbands for slightly more rustic volumes. The beautiful, lustrous quality of silk still makes it look gorgeous, and the thickness makes for quick stitching.
Of course it can also be used for general embroidery and stitching.
Like all Stef Francis threads these are hand-dyed in a range of beautiful colours from faded tones to popping colours.
Length per skein : 12 m
Filament Silk Thread, Stef Francis
I used it for endbands. It is not easy to use, as it consists of a multitude of fine fibres rather loosely twisted, and which thus like to hold on to the spine lining, or even just to dry flecks on my hands.
But it’s well worth the trouble using it. I have never seen a thread more beautiful than this.
Sold on skeins, each holds 36m of thread.
Stranded Silk, Stef Francis
The number of strands in the thread is 12, and the thread in one skein has a length of 6m.
Being a bookbinding I myself am always looking for how to use thread for books, and I found that this is a really beautiful thread to use for Asian stab bindings.
Braided Silk, Stef Francis
This braided silk is an incredibly strong silk braid of medium weight. It is useful in embroidery as it is very round and has a central core.
It is useful in general craft work where the high strength can be asset; for example for jewelry making, for making a necklace, etc.For bookbinding I see it mostly as a thread for stab bindings and decorative elements like tassles on stab bindings.
Stef Francis is a family owned small business, and all thread is hand dyed in South England in an extensive range of varigated colours.
Everlasto Jute Twine
This Everlasto Jute twine is relatively coarse and available in 5 different colours. One spool has approximately 50m. It is made of 100% jute which is a natural fibre which makes the thread biodegradable. It can be used for all kinds of knotting and binding in the garden.
I also use it for book cords, and for crocheting things like containers and coasters.
Fil Au Chinois, Lin Retors
Its intended use is for sewing anything that needs a strong seam, from sewing on buttons to sewing heavier materials like jeans or leather clothing. This thread is not suitable for use in a sewing machine.
It comes in a wide variety of colours of which I currently stock fourteen.
Everlasto Baker’s twine, a beautiful 100% cotton thread ideal for a wide variety of paper projects and for packaging. Both the thread and its packaging are biodegradable which makes it a ecological choice and usable in the garden, too.
Other Bits and Bops
I also sell Parchment, and bits and bops like beeswax blocks, and needles, bookbinding kits and instructions.