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  1. #1
    Trying to Stay Sharp 300WSM's Avatar
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    Default Cotton or Linen?

    I know that this may have been beat to death in the past but what works best in a canvas strop, cotton or linen? I am not referring to pasting or loading a strop.

    I have an old Medal of Award strop that I have been using and I want to upgrade. It has what appears to be a linen canvas heavy strop attached to the Shell strop. It has worked well for me but then again I have nothing to compare it. Does cotton work better and if so why? Does linen work better and if so why?

    I read an article about stropping written by someone from Iowa State University (www.coticule.be/stropping-a-straight-razor). He had done some research using an electron microscope and found out some interesting results. According to his research the cloth (linen) removed microscopic rust and soap residue which allowed the leather to do its job better. It also was more abrasive and polished small imperfections from the edge better according to him. Does cotton do the same?

    I appreciate any opinions or comment from anyone's experience.
    300WSM

  2. #2
    Does the barber shave himself...? PA23-250's Avatar
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    Basically yes. Genuine linen is supposed to be slightly more abrasive than cotton, but both work fine. The main thing is it actually removes corrosion & debris before you hit the leather. Doing that also protects the leather from said debris.

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    300WSM (04-17-2010)

  4. #3
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I haven't used the cotton but I get great results from the linen and the newer webbed fabric. Also the hard wool felt for diamond spray. I alternate between linen and fabric according to the position of the planets.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    300WSM (04-17-2010)

  6. #4
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    For plain stropping without any paste I think they all do the job. Some may feel different and be nicer to use but I haven't noticed any differences.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

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    300WSM (04-17-2010)

  8. #5
    Senior Member sebell's Avatar
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    I haven't used all of what's out there for fabric strops, but
    here are my favourites (in no particular order):

    Tony Miller genuine linen, Dovo Best Russian 'linen', SRD
    Nylon Webbing

    I prefer these to the Illinois 'linen' (but I didn't give that one
    a fair chance) and Tony's old cotton. I say old cotton because
    sometime in the last year he went to a finer weave which is
    probably closer to the genuine linen.

    - Scott

  9. #6
    Does the barber shave himself...? PA23-250's Avatar
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    My strops have either TM genuine linen or SRD webbing. Both do the same thing & I can't tell any real difference when I hit the leather. They feel different to use, but the results are pretty much the same for me.

  10. #7
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Default Cotton or Linen?

    Gentlemen:

    I have not used cotton and cannot offer an opinion on its stropping results. I have both the Tony Miller linen and the Straight Razor Design nylon webbing. Although they feel different on the razor during stropping, the results seem to be the same. Put another way, if there is a different in the results, I have not noticed it.

    Regards,
    Obie

  11. #8
    I Bleed Slurry Disburden's Avatar
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    I think they both offer the same results, I haven't switched back and forth enough to tell that much, but I haven't seen drastic differences.

  12. #9
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    I have 3 cloth strops, a very old linen, a denim, and a strip of nylon webbing. Linen is least aggressive, denim more aggressive, nylon most aggressive. Nylon is my favorite for heavy wedge razors. The old linen is the only linen I've ever owned, so IDK whether new linen is better, but I don't like the old linen strop very much.

  13. #10
    Trying to Stay Sharp 300WSM's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the Imput

    Thanks guys for the comments. I ordered a cotton strop from SRD. But I have contacted TM about one of his linen rigs. I have spent my limit this month so when my mad money builds up I will give Tony a try. I also need to look at the wool felt for the diamond spray. I have a chrome oxide pasted paddle I use for touching up my seven razor weekly rotation. Seems to work but I hear that the diamond spray/wool felt combo works great as well. So many things to try!
    Denny
    300WSM

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