Product Review – string

by Andrew Malinak

I’m finally doing it. Other athletes do it, now I’m doing it too. I’m writing my first product review.

Compulsory disclaimer: I’m not sponsored by either product, and I purchased both products at retail price with my own money. I’m also not sponsored by the places I purchased these products, but if Pacific Fabrics or the Mystic Seaport Museum store are interested in sponsoring me, I’m willing to listen. Same for anyone, really.

A few years back, I bought a colorful Speedo Polymesh training suit. That one got stolen, so I bought a second of the same suit right as it was being discontinued. Three years later, the seams started to rip. I had to do something. First, given the size of the holes in the drag suit, I replaced my disintegrating undersuit with a newer, sturdier suit. Eventually though I couldn’t hide it, the drag suit was at risk of total failure with all three seams in tatters. To the sewing chest!

But which thread to choose? It would have to be durable, able to hold up to the upcoming spring of half-assed pool training with an expanding waistline. Not to mention the water and chlorine exposure. Just any ol’ thread wouldn’t do. So I picked up the two best options I already had lying around.

The first product is bonded nylon hand stitching thread size 207 in olive drab. It was once used for stitching a boat cover together, and seems rugged. The bonded nylon is supposed to repel water and chemicals.

The second product is white waxed polyester thread. It is my go-to thread for whipping the ends of lines, or sewing just about anything boat related. If you’re ever looking for some nice string to be around, this is your guy. Reliable, dependable, and a bit sticky.

The trial was simple: sew the suit up with the two different threads, swim a bit, and see what happened.

It might have been six or nine months since the first sewing. All of the remaining original seams are now gone, so even if this trial was an all-around success, I’d be picking up a needle again today. But, all of the seams sewn with the bonded nylon are also in shambles. The pieces of nylon thread I pulled out are floppy and frayed, the protective bonding has come off and left me with some sad, wimpy green strings. The waxed thread, on the other hand, is hanging in there just fine.

I’ve cleaned up the seams and resewn everything with the waxed thread. There is still some bonded nylon stitching on one side which I reinforced with waxed thread. Now back to the pool to continue the test and see how the threads hold up with six to nine months of moderately-motivated swimming.

Waxed thread!

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Fig1. – Bonded nylon (top) and waxed polyester (bottom) threads

 

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Fig2. – Current state of a nylon-stitched seam

 

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Fig3. – Current state of a waxed-thread-stitched seam (right)

 

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Fig4. – New bonded nylon above removed nylon thread below

 

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Fig5. – Suit restitched and ready for action