Page Cord - UK supplier - help

Having taught myself how to use page cord properly, I have now run out of the scraps I have inherited. The emergency string I have is no use.
I understand true page cord is woven from angels’ wing feathers and is as rare as hen’s teeth.
Does anyone know of supplier of the real deal, or a good alternative, in the UK?
Thank you!

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Any thin string will do. there is nothing magic about ‘page cord’, its how you use it. Probably find something you can use at the nearest Pound shop

Thanks for that. I figured it must be waxed or similar as the string I have doesn’t do corners too well. Butchers cord works ok but is expensive…..

Send me an e-mail with your address and I’ll send you a ball of French page cord (brand new). You can also buy yourself beautiful German page cord, that comes in bright red (sometimes orange). It’s slightly different stuff, but works fine as well. sells it.

image: page cord.JPG

page cord.JPG

i use any old string to tie my forms. An old letterpress shop i worked in as a teenager used to wet their string, when it dried it sure was tight. You would think tying a form is easy, i always struggled with it, took me a long time to get the hang of it.

Thanks for the advice folks!
I looked into doing this ‘properly’ because I thought I should. Have now realised that it is an amazing time saver - quicker than ‘little boxes’ and far (far) more reliable than gravity or luck!

This week’s Damascus Moment, I think…. :o)

Norman Haynes on the www

I too am interested in finding a US source for proper page cord.

Page cord is not string, just as make ready paste is not a Prit glue stick. Both have special qualities perfected before you were born, for their specific uses.

American Printing Equipment used to sell both, but sadly in the “dark ages” before the renaissance of letterpress, they let both fall away with no current resource.

image: left: string
right: page cord

left: string right: page cord

Quite an easy one on EITHER side of the Atlantic, (when & If all else has failed!) from virtually any Fishing, Bait and Tackle Shop,>>>BRAIDED FishIng Line,<< (Not Monofilament,!)


Book binders Thread, normally waxed, very thin for binding purposes, pound for pound immensley strong. (Art shops, Printmaking shops, whatever They are.!)


Ships Chandlers, Sail Cloth Thread, again very strong, and being twisted, lends itself to Tying up in the generally recognized manner, i.e. tucking the last end in/under the windings, either with the obligatory D.I.Y. brass (Chrojet hook style) tool,!! . .Or, the compositors, style, tweezers with the built in Bodkin that flipped out, used by both the Comps and the Machine Minders, the Comps for tying up, and the Minders for *spiking* the odd space, that insisted on Rising, *on the run*

How many times, has it been seen in Older Bookwork where the space has been Spiked and still managed to rise with the neat little crater in the middle

NOT a special character, just dodgy justification or lock up. ..

I use, and have used for years, pure cotton string which is heavy enough so that it can’t be broken easily unless you pull really hard. It also has to have a little bit of elasticity, so that it can be stretched very slightly and maintains tension. I don’t see it every day, but every time I see a ball of string in a store, I look at it to see if I think it will work to tie up forms. I think imported string from undeveloped countries is more likely to be pure cotton because those countries don’t manufacture as much polyester or other synthetics to blend with the cotton. So far I haven’t run out.

One word of caution: DO NOT use this string to tie across the gripper bars of a press to hold the paper down. The string for that use must be weak enough to break easily if you get your hand caught in it. You have to be able to break that string easily, if necessary, to get your hand out of the press before it closes. Also, do not wear any rings or other jewelry on your hands or arms when working around a press. Before you do anything in your shop, please always ask yourself, “is what I am about to do safe, and is it the safest way I can do this?”