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Thread: To linen or not to linen?

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    Default To linen or not to linen?

    I recently saw a post on here that the linen side of a strop can/will dull the blade is that true?

    Also, I am about to put chromium on an old strop for the first time. The linen side of that strop looks more like a seatbelt so I am not sure if I should put it on that or the leather. Please advise

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    Historically Inquisitive Martin103's Avatar
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    I would think if not done correctly it could indeed dull the blade, that said most here use a linen as their first strop material before leather.
    Chromium on linen works fine, less is more.
    Here a link on how to paste the strop: http://straightrazorplace.com/srpwik...photo_tutorial
    Last edited by Martin103; 03-14-2013 at 02:13 AM.

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    lz6
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    Linen is a natural product derived from Flax. Natural linen strops are considered superior for stropping prior to using leather by many straight razor owners.
    Strop materials you see that would resemble seat belt materal are not linen and are primarily man made materials. Cotton is also a popular strop material and cotton strops come in different weaves.
    And as Martin pointed out stropping incorrectly on any material can damage or dull your blade.
    Bob

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    Just as with everything else, the equipment is rarely to blame. If your razor gets dull though, the linen is about the last thing I'd ever suspect as being the cause.

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    I'm a firm believer in linen before leather , based on my own experience. YMMV. Read this post here for some of what influenced me before I knew from my own use.

    I would suggest you use chrom-ox, or whatever paste on an extra strop or a separate piece of material. Not on the daily driver. IMHO.

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    ace
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    My experience has been that I've had blades, one especially, that didn't seem to take well to linen stropping. The edge seemed to be roughened somewhat by it. I stopped using linen, using leather only for the past year, and haven't missed it. Now, most people use the linen side prior to the leather, and if that works for you, then go ahead and do it. It seemed to be doing some of my blades harm, and therefore I discontinued it. I also never use pastes of any kind, so leather alone works fine for me. I always do 100 laps on leather after honing or when preparing for the next shave. This has worked fine for me, but, as I said, many, if not most, would disagree.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ace View Post
    My experience has been that I've had blades, one especially, that didn't seem to take well to linen stropping. The edge seemed to be roughened somewhat by it.
    Just curious Ace, was it one specific linen, or more than one type/brand ? I ask because many of them are similar but not all the same. As I've noted in the past, the use of linen has been a controversial topic to some extent. That it was a matter of disagreement amongst barbers of that time is even mentioned in the 1961 barber manual honing/stropping excerpt that is a PDF in the SRP library. So you are definitely not alone.

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    Another full time linen user here, and some observations from me...

    The use of a material strop produces different results on razors of different grinds. My standard routine was 40/60 for any razor, which I was happy with, but in the last year or so I've found that extra hollow razors respond better to less material stropping (15-20 laps), and the heavy grinds do better with more (40+). The resulting edges feel smoother and seem to last a bit longer. JMHO.
    gssixgun, Silents and stevieb like this.

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    Linen or cotton canvas is abrasive, and like a hone can improve or damage the edge, depending on how it's used. I have an Illinois cotton canvas and leather strop. In the 2 1/2 years since I bought the brand new razor (Dovo stainless) from a local knife shop I have not needed to use anything else to maintain it's very sharp edge.
    Juga likes this.

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