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tempus-fugit

Gimp -- modern equivalent?

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Hello all,

 

I see gimp cited as a crochet material in old crochet booklets. If anyone owns some of the Jack Frost series from the 1940s, you will see it was the thread of choice for hats and bags. My question is this: what would be the modern equivalent of gimp? I've seen some small quantities of vintage gimp available on E-Bay but not enough for a project.

 

Thanks so much,

 

Wayne

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I was always under the impression that gimp was that plastic lace stuff kids used to weave lanyards out of at camp. I don't think it would crochet very nicely. If's that's what it is they sell it in a million colors in the kids section of ACMoore. Other than that I'm at a loss.

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It's a loosely woven stiff fabric used to, well, stiffen things like hats, etc. I got some or something similar at JoAnn's several years ago to use to stiffen fabric paper dolls. Don't remember what it was called but I asked for gimp and that's what they gave me. It works.

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I was always under the impression that gimp was that plastic lace stuff kids used to weave lanyards out of at camp. I don't think it would crochet very nicely. If's that's what it is they sell it in a million colors in the kids section of ACMoore. Other than that I'm at a loss.

 

Gimp is what we always called pastic lacing too

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Umm gimp as I have heard it used would also be the edging stuff... not seam binding but over in that section. Like trim stuff.... oh that's the technical term I am sure :) .

Elizabeth

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Thanks for all your replies. I believe gimp was a thread made of rayon, or perhaps a rayon-wrapped cotton, and commonly used to make bags and hats in the 1940s. Corde, cordette, soutache and kordette were similar materials sold for the same purpose. Seems they have all gone the way of the dinosaur. Gimp thread produced crisply defined crochet and wonderful textures.

 

Thanks again for the input.

 

Wayne

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I buy yarn from a company in the UK called Texere yarns and they sell gimp. It is very fine cord like only a few mm across. I think gimp might be a generic term for fine cord. I think it would be very nice crocheted. I have a sample catalogue from them and it is similar to the elastic bands with the little metal clamp holding the loop together without being elastic. Does that make sense?

 

HTH

Rachel

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I remembered that I had saw some gimp in a pattern book. Cozy Crochet by Melissa Leapman has a pattern for a "Springtime Purse" that uses corde. It is by Judi and Company. The website she lists in the back of her book is judiandco.com. I hope that helps. I realize that my source wan't so helpful as it was in the UK but this should be helpful.

 

 

Rachel

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I just dug out a spool of gimp that I have in my collection of old crochet/sewing items. It says it is 50% cotton and 50% rayon. I do know it does not stand the test of time as I tried using some of the older stuff once and it broke really easy. I gave up. It wasn't colorfast also. The thread weight is about the equivilent of size 3 weight thread. Sorry I can't give you a source, but if people know what they are looking for maybe someone else can come up with a source.

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Rachel,

Kathy,

 

Thanks very much for the input. I've visited both sites and they're very interesting. Texere Yarns in the UK offers a range of gimp (with the rayon being replaced by viscose) and Judi & Co. offer cordé, which seems to approximate the thread used in some of the old Jack Frost pattern books (cotton core wrapped in rayon) though it's hard to judge the weight.

 

If you want to see some examples of crocheted Jack Frost bags from the 1940s, there are three free patterns taken directly from one of the vintage books (patterns now copyright expired, so posted legally by About Crochet) at the following site:

 

http://crochet.about.com/library/weekly/aa111399.htm

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

Wayne

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Glad to be of some help, though I don't feel like I added all that much.

Thanks for the link, but I really don't need to go to the link. I collect older pattern books and have about 12 books on just purses alone. The gimp purses were quite popular. Some were really rather beautiful. But I feel in love with the beaded purses and went that direction with my work. But I have always admired the gimp bags.

Hope you are able to find the equivalent to the gimp and look forward to seeing your creations.

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I am also glad to have been of help. Texere has some interesting yarns for sure. Like I said they have a sample catalogue where they include a small sample of every yarn (about 2 or 3 inches long) and the gimp does look like it would be nice as a bag. Sigh..... so many ideas and so little time.

 

Rachel

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I just happened to see this old topic.  Gimp refers to a thread with a core, in recent years a cotton cord core, but also wire cores.  Another thread is wrapped around the core. During the 1940s I believe the wrapping thread was usually rayon.  Earlier gimps often had silk wrappings.  I do not know about modern equivalents -- Kathy is right that the 1940s gimp is about the equivalent of a size 3 thread.  It was a stiff thread for making purses and hats.  If you do not mind an artificial look you may want to look into some of the modern nylon threads, or even nylon mason's line.

Edited by Karen Ballard

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