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Looking for linen/canvas suggestions

Went for round 2 and felt like it was making the edge a bit harsh unfortunately. Rubbed it down with bar soap, throwing it through the wash and going to try breaking it in the kanayama way. If it does not improve might just buy the kanayama canvas and be sad about the firehose ha.
 
i've got a couple reels of 100' of flax linen firehose that i make my strops from. here's the key...they have to be completely dry in order to be flexible. even high humidity will cause them to stiffen and pucker. i recommend that once you wash them, and dry them flat, take a hot iron to them to get out any wrinkles. then, handwork the strop by rolling one way, then the other, and then the other way. back and forth. they will get looser and supple. at first, they seem harsh and stiff against the razor, but they will loosen up and become more razor friendly. just use light pressure at first when new.
 
i've got a couple reels of 100' of flax linen firehose that i make my strops from. here's the key...they have to be completely dry in order to be flexible. even high humidity will cause them to stiffen and pucker. i recommend that once you wash them, and dry them flat, take a hot iron to them to get out any wrinkles. then, handwork the strop by rolling one way, then the other, and then the other way. back and forth. they will get looser and supple. at first, they seem harsh and stiff against the razor, but they will loosen up and become more razor friendly. just use light pressure at first when new.

Couple hundred feet eh?..... Hmmmmm
 
I gave it the kanayama treatment (just 1 round) and strop improved a good bit. Been extremely busy but planning on doing another round or so.
 
In the olden' days, cotton was made from cotton, linen was made from flax, and canvas was made from hemp. Now all of these terms have been butchered, melded together (what is a cotton linen or a cotton canvas strop anyway) and mostly have lost their meaning. That said, real linen strops are available.

The Kanoyama strops are listed as canvas and may well be made from hemp. They are rough and very firm and I find them a bit too aggressive, although Mr. Kanoyama does make it extremely clear that they should not be used as purchased but instead broken- in very aggressively. I tried a couple of wash / dry cycles on one of mine and while it really did calm down, it was still a little rough for me.

I do not care for or use cotton strops as I find them ineffective. Same thing with felt strops.

Linen is just fantastic though, IMO of course. It is slick, very fast and gentle. It feels slippery and has a bit of a sheen to it. Linen is available but not nearly as common as cotton, and as mentioned is sometimes actually cotton substituted for linen. Tony Miller has linen available sometimes, usually in 2 1/2" and less often, 3". All of my linen strops from various manufacturers feel the same to me so I cannot really recommend any particular brand. Walking Horse sold a 3" linen strop with the advantage of having a fantastic piece of vegetable tanned horse hide on the other side (not Cordovan or Shell but horse rump leather) but they are no longer in business. You could contact Tony Miller and see if he has and will sell just a linen strop.

I think if you continue to beat- up that Kanoyama strop it will soften and become less aggressive. Maybe throw it in with every load of laundry for the wash / dry cycle for a couple of weeks and see how much it softens? Best of luck with your choice(s) and break- in process.
 

Tony Miller

Vendor
In the olden' days, cotton was made from cotton, linen was made from flax, and canvas was made from hemp. Now all of these terms have been butchered, melded together (what is a cotton linen or a cotton canvas strop anyway) and mostly have lost their meaning. That said, real linen strops are available.


Well said, lots of "mystery cloth" out there now and "linen" has become a generic term for any cloth component on many strops out there.

As you have found most of the real flax linen looks and feels the same as in my research most comes from the same mills. Currently it seems only 2" and 3" are produced and I wish I could still get 2 1/2" as well. Even the 3" which I still stock and offer must be imported from Europe as no USA mills seem to have made any in the past 8 or 9 years.
 
that's why the modifier is super important. flax vs cotton..."linen". that's why firehose from the 50's is so cool. flax linen... works great!
 
my 3 favorite strops (red imp 700c (heavy horsehide), kanayama 30k (shell cordovan), flax linen firehose). i don't recommend
the cotton linen kanayama since it has no silica present. only flax linen has silica. you can "treat" the kanayama with CrOx or 0.15 micron diamond, which works well, but makes the resulting edge a little too "brisk" for my liking. i REALLY like a pure coticule edge stropped only on flax linen, then red imp horse, then kanayama shell. the results are amazing IMHO.
IMG_0413.jpg
 
Well said, lots of "mystery cloth" out there now and "linen" has become a generic term for any cloth component on many strops out there.

As you have found most of the real flax linen looks and feels the same as in my research most comes from the same mills. Currently it seems only 2" and 3" are produced and I wish I could still get 2 1/2" as well. Even the 3" which I still stock and offer must be imported from Europe as no USA mills seem to have made any in the past 8 or 9 years.
This is the reason my home strop is 3”. I actually prefer 2.5”, but could only get the linen in 2 or 3, so I went with 3” leather to match. Not a big deal, in the scheme of things. If I was starting again I would just make two strops of different sizes, but I was trying to build a uber strop. It’s lasted well, I guess.
 

Tony Miller

Vendor
This is the reason my home strop is 3”. I actually prefer 2.5”, but could only get the linen in 2 or 3, so I went with 3” leather to match. Not a big deal, in the scheme of things. If I was starting again I would just make two strops of different sizes, but I was trying to build a uber strop. It’s lasted well, I guess.
Yep, I really wanted to make a 2 1/2" plain, square end horsehide but just can't get 2 1/2". For several years it was the only width I could get.
 
All of my linen strops look exactly like your #3. As Tony said, I believe there are few sources manufacturing this stuff and they probably make a huge amount at one time and they get distributed all over the world.

The herringbone pattern in #1 is interesting. Does it feel or sound any differently than #3 in use?

My daily drivers. Images 1 and 2, 2-1/2”/70mm Latvian flax linen from an Etsy seller in Latvia, behind a Kanoyama 80000.

Images 3 and 4, 3” Abbey England flax linen behind a 3” roo strop.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
All of my linen strops look exactly like your #3. As Tony said, I believe there are few sources manufacturing this stuff and they probably make a huge amount at one time and they get distributed all over the world.

The herringbone pattern in #1 is interesting. Does it feel or sound any differently than #3 in use?

Yes, it’s a softer, looser weave and is less ‘noisy’ though I can’t tell much if any difference in performance. The Latvian linen does work, I was about to throw in the towel with my Filarmonica Sub Cero edge at 117 shaves when I started testing linens, and the herringbone Latvian brought the edge back where I got about 25-30 more shaves from that edge.
 
So are the linen pieces being used as daily drivers? I've heard of a counsel to use 8-12 laps on linen followed by a reduced count on leather to 8-12 laps as a routine. In following this recently, 8 laps on linen followed by 12-20 laps on medium-draw leather, I've found that it helps to lighten the leather's draw considerably. Think I will apply such a method to an oil-tanned strop with a heavier draw when I have the chance.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Hey Alan,

My normal routine is 6-8 post shave on the Latvian linen and 65 on a Kanoyama 80000 etc or the same on an Abbey linen a roo strop. That doesn’t mean much, it may very well change in the future! And I have not done any edge retention tests with this routine.

My post-honing though has been pretty consistent. Off the finisher, 3-4 light passes on a different dry stone, usually an uchigumori. Then, some hand stropping. Then 20 linen and 65 Kanoyama or roo and I’m done.

Best,

Steve
 
Thanks Steve.

I'm going to stick with ~8 laps on the linen side and ~20 laps on the leather side of the strop I'm using regularly. It's a Rasoir-Sabre "Aigle" with linen as a second component. The leather is described as "vegetable-tanned genuine shell." Not sure what it is really as it is much thicker than any Cordovan shell strop I've seen. For its thickness, it is extremely supple; and while it has some draw, the feedback is terrific. The weave of the linen side is like the Abbey England flax linen piece you showed above, although perhaps a bit coarser, and certainly a bit coarser than, say, Scrupleworks flax linen. I actually haven't used it much in the past, just concentrated on leather with a higher lap count. Then I came across an old piece of paperwork that Ertan had included which recommended the regular linen lap-count followed by a lower leather lap-count to compensate. Not sure if that wasn't more intended for small, pasted strops, as much as for the plain linen, but I thought to give it a shot for a while on the regular strop to see what happens.

I too tend to strop after shaving, to remove standing grime as much as to restore the edge.

Regards,

Alan
 
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After 2 rounds of the kanayama treatment felt like the strop has I proved greatly. Did 20 laps then 60 on my SRD English bridle with great results.
 
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