So I had another little moment of insight. Or maybe my thickheadedness deserted me briefly.
I was contemplating my lapel buttonholes last week, the by now infamous asola lucida ones, that is, and finding them just too chunky, especially when compared to some nicer ones like the Tom Ford. The thread I am using is just too heavy.
Silk buttonhole twist is only available in two sizes these days, the finest being size 40, which is the one I use. But still, it is not nearly as fine as the thread used on the nicest lapel buttonholes. So I was wondering where I could find both buttonhole twist and a much finer thread but offered in the very same colors, something I have never seen before. Then I had my little idea.
Buttonhole twist is 3-ply- that is to say, it has three yarns (rather than the typical two) twisted together to form the thread. If I were to strip the twist down, I would have three very fine threads to use, solving my problem. Of course, such a fine thread would require three times as much work to cover the same space- I think it was Francesco Smalto who said that 140 stitches are required to execute the asola lucida. Using a thread this fine, I believe him. Compounding the difficulty, a thread which has been stripped can be difficult to work with. It’s just the sort of punishment I seem to enjoy inflicting upon myself in order to make a pretty buttonhole, and another detail over which to obsess for a while. So I started ripping apart the buttonholes on a few of my jackets, pulling apart silk twist, and reworking them over again.
Obsessive Buttonhole Disorder. I wonder if they make a pill for that…