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Canvas vs Nylon

The strop i have been using has leather and nylon. I have never used a canvas strop.

Those of you who have used both, which do you prefer and is there anything you would say one does better then the other?
 
Linen has a mild abrasive effect that nylon does not have.
I have never used nylon so can't comment on its efficacy.
As I understand it, it does work and many commercial strops have it.
I believe for most, given the choice, a linen or cotton component is preferred.
 
I don't bother with ANY fabric component. It does nothing that leather alone cannot do and it gets in the way and adds needless cost to the making of a strop.
 
It does nothing that leather alone cannot do and it gets in the way
Linen will help when leather alone cannot.
Many years ago now when experimenting was heavy, leather alone would only last so long. At that point linen was employed and the edge brought back so leather alone could be used again. This could be repeated at least 3 times until neither was could fully bring the edge back.

It also supports the leather for a stiffer ride instead of having to pull a little harder.
My Barber gave me a tutorial years ago and when I grabbed the leather alone he told me "No, grab both at the same time for support"
He also told me to only use the linen when necessary.
 
Linen will help when leather alone cannot.
Many years ago now when experimenting was heavy, leather alone would only last so long. At that point linen was employed and the edge brought back so leather alone could be used again. This could be repeated at least 3 times until neither was could fully bring the edge back.

It also supports the leather for a stiffer ride instead of having to pull a little harder.
My Barber gave me a tutorial years ago and when I grabbed the leather alone he told me "No, grab both at the same time for support"
He also told me to only use the linen when necessary.
I always wondered if grabbing both had any effect. I'll have to give that a shot.
 
I don't bother with ANY fabric component. It does nothing that leather alone cannot do and it gets in the way and adds needless cost to the making of a strop.
One day I'll try my hand at making my own strop. Thats a little deeper in the hole then I am right now.
 
Linen will help when leather alone cannot.
Many years ago now when experimenting was heavy, leather alone would only last so long. At that point linen was employed and the edge brought back so leather alone could be used again. This could be repeated at least 3 times until neither was could fully bring the edge back.

It also supports the leather for a stiffer ride instead of having to pull a little harder.
My Barber gave me a tutorial years ago and when I grabbed the leather alone he told me "No, grab both at the same time for support"
He also told me to only use the linen when necessary.
Paul, I'm curious if you hold both elements when stropping on the linen side. I hold both like you say in stropping on leather, but with linen (particularly the thinner variety rather than the old fire hose, as well as cotton), I tend to use it by itself, pulling it tauter than I do leather. Leather, I use slightly slackened.
 
Paul, I'm curious if you hold both elements when stropping on the linen side. I hold both like you say in stropping on leather, but with linen (particularly the thinner variety rather than the old fire hose, as well as cotton), I tend to use it by itself, pulling it tauter than I do leather. Leather, I use slightly slackened.

Yes, when using the linen I grab both as well. I make sure they are tight together with one hand then pulled tight with a slight emphasis on the top layer.
I don't use it much as I like to hone too. I did just use it yesterday (Kanayama) it certainly does change things IMO.

I still remember some 17 years ago disliking the other component swinging to and fro.
It is not hard to get used to holding both and becomes second nature. The stiffer backing always felt better to me.
 
Yes, when using the linen I grab both as well. I make sure they are tight together with one hand then pulled tight with a slight emphasis on the top layer.
I don't use it much as I like to hone too. I did just use it yesterday (Kanayama) it certainly does change things IMO.

I still remember some 17 years ago disliking the other component swinging to and fro.
It is not hard to get used to holding both and becomes second nature. The stiffer backing always felt better to me.
Thanks. I too disliked the hanging component swinging back and forth when I started out, and that was solved by holding both elements together when stropping on the leather side. Think I've learned something here with regard to using the linen or cotton element (which I don't use much these days). In France, I have a narrow Scrupleworks horsehide strop with the flax linen second component. Now everyone seems to like that linen, but I have had trouble with it because the toe of the razor will kind of sink in--sort of a hammock-like effect. But now I realize that that's because I was holding the linen strop alone and leaving the leather to fall. If I pull both, the backside of the leather would support the linen, possibly keeping the sinking sensation from occurring. The same would hold true for the thin cotton components.
 

Suhrim21

Contributor
I have used both. The grom blades latigo double strop I had came with nylon. Most others have been linen or denim or some sort of cotton. As far as helping the edge they are work well. The difference I saw was nylon did not dry the edge like the others. But as far as effectiveness both work.
 
So what is the canvas/linen/nylon side supposed to do for the razor edge other than clean off particulate matter (soap scum and whatnot)?
Linen will help when leather alone cannot.
Many years ago now when experimenting was heavy, leather alone would only last so long. At that point linen was employed and the edge brought back so leather alone could be used again. This could be repeated at least 3 times until neither was could fully bring the edge back.
Does the above work with any fabric, or is it just linen? Does flax linen have an abrasive quality that would work on metal? What about cotton canvas/denim or nylon?

And am I doing harm by stropping first on canvas every time I strop?

I fear this might be a case where we won't easily be able to separate fact from folklore, much like anything else to do with stropping.
 
(1) So what is the canvas/linen/nylon side supposed to do for the razor edge other than clean off particulate matter (soap scum and whatnot)?

(2) Does the above work with any fabric, or is it just linen? Does flax linen have an abrasive quality that would work on metal? What about cotton canvas/denim or nylon?

(3) And am I doing harm by stropping first on canvas every time I strop?

(4) I fear this might be a case where we won't easily be able to separate fact from folklore, much like anything else to do with stropping.
(1) It is more abrasive then leather is.

(2) Flax is very good for stropping to bring an edge back, as is linen and cotton.

(3) No, you are not doing harm by using it every time but IMO using it sparingly will get you more shaves out of an edge. Many will disagree on this.

(4) This is so true and there is much bad information on the subject. It is not specifically mentioned in Barber manuals as to the need of the canvas other than some saying it is to warm and clean the steel prior to stropping on leather.
My particular manual states that the need for canvas is debatable and may or may not be necessary, however it also states that it IS necessary for some types of hones indicating it will help the leather to get the razor on target.

My own experience was brought to me by my own barber who instructed and helped me along the way.
I have done extensive testing years ago with canvas and leather and these are my beliefs through trial and error.

One of the biggest myths ever put forward it to use no pressure when stropping.
My Barber instructed me "you need some pressure when stropping" Stropping became much more effective after that tidbit of info. Too much is not good either but you do need some.
 

Tony Miller

Vendor
Many of the "nylon" strops on the market use seat belt webbing which is usually polyester, not nylon. I think polyester does work better than real nylon (in my experiments) but much depends on the actual weave. The nylon I have tried usually has a somewhat coarse, ribbed weave while polyester seat belt webbing is usually quite smooth. The polyester seems to have some resistance to me, while the nylon felt way too slick, even with the ribbed texture.

Same with cotton, cotton canvas webbing tends to have some firmness and texture to it and some is even sort of ribbed or almost corrugated, other thinner types (usually the herringbone weave stuff) can be quite smooth and soft and each will give a different feel in use.

The linens I have tried are typically thinner than the cotton canvas and have a smooth, but somewhat abrasive surface. The older USA woven stuff was fuzzier than the current European sourced linens I have tried.

I like the firmness I get from holding just one component alone, but like many do not like the feel of the hanging component flopping around. I also do not like to see the leather component sort of bending back on itself and possibly wrinkling or breaking the grain from the fibers below.
 
Flax and hemp contain more silica than cotton. Silica is an abrasive and is the abrasive in most natural hones.

I won an SRD Roo strop at a meet that had a poly secondary. I had been using hemp and I was certain that I was going to hate the man made material. I told myself to keep an open mind and just try it. It turned out to be more effective than the hemp strop that I had been using. I went from 55 laps on the hemp to 21 laps on the poly. The boar hide strop that I'm using now has a polyester fire hose secondary and it is the most aggressive secondary that I've ever used. I just do three laps per shave on that one. I wondered what could possibly make polyester abrasive. After a little research I found that fumed silica is often used in polyester resin as a thickener.
 
Many of the "nylon" strops on the market use seat belt webbing which is usually polyester, not nylon. I think polyester does work better than real nylon (in my experiments) but much depends on the actual weave. The nylon I have tried usually has a somewhat coarse, ribbed weave while polyester seat belt webbing is usually quite smooth. The polyester seems to have some resistance to me, while the nylon felt way too slick, even with the ribbed texture.

Same with cotton, cotton canvas webbing tends to have some firmness and texture to it and some is even sort of ribbed or almost corrugated, other thinner types (usually the herringbone weave stuff) can be quite smooth and soft and each will give a different feel in use.

The linens I have tried are typically thinner than the cotton canvas and have a smooth, but somewhat abrasive surface. The older USA woven stuff was fuzzier than the current European sourced linens I have tried.

I like the firmness I get from holding just one component alone, but like many do not like the feel of the hanging component flopping around. I also do not like to see the leather component sort of bending back on itself and possibly wrinkling or breaking the grain from the fibers below.
I definitely have the slicker wider webbing. It seems you echo what I have been hearing as the nylon works, but linen tends to feel better.

Thanks
 
Bluesman has a great point on Silica content. Silica in nutrient feeding is experimented with in the business of growing flowers for arrangements of cut flowers, to provide for stem strength and longevity in arrangements.
Grass varieties in the coastal south or wherever there is higher silica content in the soil, themselves have a higher silica content, and thusly, there is a large difference in mower blade life due to the silica abrading away at the cutting edges of mower blades.
Depending on your reason for using the fabric portion, you can tailor it to your needs by choosing one or another.
 
Flax and hemp contain more silica than cotton. Silica is an abrasive and is the abrasive in most natural hones.

I won an SRD Roo strop at a meet that had a poly secondary. I had been using hemp and I was certain that I was going to hate the man made material. I told myself to keep an open mind and just try it. It turned out to be more effective than the hemp strop that I had been using. I went from 55 laps on the hemp to 21 laps on the poly. The boar hide strop that I'm using now has a polyester fire hose secondary and it is the most aggressive secondary that I've ever used. I just do three laps per shave on that one. I wondered what could possibly make polyester abrasive. After a little research I found that fumed silica is often used in polyester resin as a thickener.
Interesting. Dont believe Ice seen boar hide offered any where. Good to hear you found something efficent and very functional.
 

Suhrim21

Contributor
Boar Hide has become my favorite strop.

I really liked the boar I had but I want one in better shape and needed money so sold the one I had.

@Tony Miller. Do you know off hand which secondary you put on that steerdovan I won. It is the white secondary and not the grayish one on your site. I'm curious as to which because as a secondary I love that one but now am curious as to the flax as it was said it has silica in it so makes a good secondary.
 
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