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Medical Silk

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Medical Silk


Post by Chess » Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:37 pm

Anyone know of a source of a bulk spool/cone of medical grade silk, like they use in sutures?
Would like to get enough for making some fly lines. The medical thread is either coated in silicone, wax or plain and is consistent in its integrity.
The finer grade would suit, but anything is better than nothing. I found sources in China and the US, but they are wholesalers and the minimal purchase required is something that made my eyes sting at how much they expect me to buy - they blew me off.
Anyone got a lead?
Thanks. :)

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Paul Arden
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Re: Medical Silk


Post by Paul Arden » Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:26 pm

Hi Keith, I'll just bump this up. And then I'll start pinging a few emails around. What sort of quantity are you after? I assume first you require a sample before committing to a less-than-industrial sized quantity? How long would the sample be ideally? And then after that how much would you be looking for?

I'm sure those questions are going to be asked!

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Re: Medical Silk


Post by Chess » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:40 pm

I've tried to understand their jargon (I'm no doctor, I got lost in it ??), but I don't think there's a whole lot of sizes on offer. It seems they use different types for the type of tissue they suture. From my perspective I saw a 2 ply fine silk thread that is in 2 sizes. The finer the thread the better I suppose as it's easier to adjust the thickness by how many loops you do. Having both sizes would be advantageous as they could be blended into the twist. As a guide, it takes approx 200m of thread to make a 32' shooting head in silk, so to make say, a 45-50' line about 300mts should do it and ratio that up accordingly for longer lines. What is really interesting is that it comes in silicone or wax coating, there's also uncoated. They are also specifically twisted threads for their intended purpose, which would make it very durable I would imagine. I'd like a sample of all of them. It is unknown how they would go with friction on the guides or their floatability and dressing capabilities. It's the stiffness that is unknown, but I feel will be one of medical silks attributes that may just lend itself to creating good fly lines. I've sure been stitched up enough in my life and it's noticeable the stiffness, integrity and knot-ability of suture thread. It just might be one of those threads that make fly lines that get better with use. Spools or cones with 2-4000 metres for example would be a bonus if available and not cost a fortune. I have in transit a 2000mt spool of vintage 1960s silk thread from Egypt. A lucky find I hope, it cost $50, but resupply would be nil.
I'm hoping a potential supplier might be sympathetic to its intended use and realize the uncertainties we face and communicate accordingly, but it would all resolve quickly once I could test some.

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Re: Medical Silk


Post by Magnus » Thu Jul 01, 2021 11:53 am

You can't afford it :)

Suture materials are made in sterile conditions - so are costly. Incidentally stuff called Bioline was an attempt to use 'soluble suture' type material as a tippet mono - rather thick and stiff, the original makers didn't do a lot of marketing research but the bio-degradable characteristic was attractive. The company making that also made sutures - so their tippet was very expensive. They sold the brand to Eagle Claw I think.

I'd get in touch with a company like Au Ver a Soie -
They process and make silk thread and flosses. (And have made some pretty primitive fly lines) and could supply the stuff needed to braid into silk flylines. I've no idea where you get the machinery for that sort of braiding, you'll need that,I assume that's part of the reason why silk lines are so expensive.

"Actually I can't because you are right! " Paul Arden 8/6/2019

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