Tech Tip: Whipping Twine for Broken Carriage Drawstrings

I wanted to share a quick tip for those of you dealing with broken drawbands / drawstrings: Whipping Twine.

carriage-drawstring-repair-whipping-twineWhat is Whipping Twine? It’s used to “whip” the ends of sailing ropes, to prevent fraying. It’s tough stuff and usually wax-coated, so it looks a little like dental floss on steriods.

How did I find it? I’d broken the drawstring on my Underwood Touchmaster 5 (currently featured prominently in the Amazon series “Good Girls Revolt“) right as I was getting it ready to sell it. I normally use 40-lb. fishing line for replacement drawstring on portables, but I needed something heavier since the Touchmaster’s spring is both large and tightly-wound compared to my portables.

I stopped in a West Marine store looking for high-test fishing line. Guess what – it’s kind of expensive and the heavier weights come on 100-yd spools. I don’t need that many carriage drawstrings. I explained the issue to one of the store clerks and he lead me straight over to the whipping twine. $8.99 for 105 ft. of 16# twine and off I went.

It worked like a charm – it was practically the same diameter and strength as the original silk that was used and it fit the bill perfectly. Here’s a link if you don’t have a marine store near you:–waxed-whipping-twine–P002_068_003_504




5 thoughts on “Tech Tip: Whipping Twine for Broken Carriage Drawstrings

  1. Great idea. I used plenty of rope in the fire service and even whip-finished some. Forgot all about using whipping twine for draw strings. The twine I used was quite stiff if I remember.
    I use lashing twine quite often though. It is not quite as big and strong as rope finishing or whipping twine. It is wax coated and strong as well as flat or round. Lashing twine is for dressing/wrapping/bundling wires in the days before wire ties. Phone companies used it as well as many broadcast and audio equipment makers.

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