A new toy in my sewing box made me take a fresh approach to looking at eyelets as found in 18th century original stays.
This toy was purchased at Home Depot, a micrometer. Never knew I needed one, but don't know how I did research with out it! This handy gadget measures the smallest amount, in either inches or mm, and gives new meaning to stitch counter, now I can count the width of a thread and each individual stitch, accurately. Under $30.00, a must have for the totally crazed.
So armed with my new toy, and a camera with a good macro lens, off to the stays!
This first image is a close up of the eyelet, taken from the right side of the stays, these stays are 3rd Quarter 18thc. ( to be clear, these images are taken from original stays, not reproductions).
Entire Eyelet-Edge to Edge 8.40mm
Whipped Edge: 2.30mm
Thread: 0.34mm, unbleached linen
Stays Fabric: unbleached linen
It is visible in this enlarged image that the threads are doubled as they are whipped around the eyelet hole, it is also very visible that the hole opening is whipped and that the buttonhole stitch is not used.Comparing Threads
Now that I have a base line width of the thread used to make this eyelet, I went to my stash of linen threads to find a close match.
These are the threads from left to right, I did not bother to measure my fine linen threads, as only the thicker ones came close to the original threads.
Bleached (ball): 0.35 mm Winner!!!!
In the past I have often used all three of the these threads for making eyelets, and they all make a nice eyelet, but it looks like the 0.35 is going to be the go to thread, which I have in bleached and unbleached.
Just for fun I will make a series of eyelets using all three threads and try to approximate the original eyelet. Next post..