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Page Title: Sewing Canvas by Hand
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SEWING  CANVAS  BY  HAND When you are required to fabricate articles, you will need the appropriate tools. Some of the tools used for fabricating  are  listed  below. Sail needles: Needles are numbered according to size; the higher the number, the smaller the needle. The heavier the canvas, the larger your needle should be. After use, needles should be dried carefully and oiled or stowed in a container of powdered chalk to prevent them from  rusting. Palms: Two types of palms are issued in the Navy: the sailmaker's palm and the roping palm. At first glance you probably see no difference, but if you check the metal slug you can see that the roping palm is designed for larger size needles. This is the palm to use when jobs require the largest needles-sewing on bolt ropes,  for  example. Sailmaker's or bench hook: This hook has a swivel eye. It is used to hold the ends of two pieces of canvas  being  sewn  together,  as  shown  in  figure  3-34. Beeswax: This substance can hardly be called a tool, but it is a necessary item. It reduces the wear on the sail twine while sewing and retards deterioration. Sail  twine:  Many  different  types  of  twine  are used  for  sewing,  mostly  cotton;  but  lacing  twine (already waxed) is best for sewing by hand. Stitches  and  Their  Uses Here are some of the common stitches that you will find useful in your work. Round stitch: The round stitch is the one used most  commonly  for  joining  two  pieces  of  canvas.  Turn back the edges, hold the pieces together, and send the needle through both pieces at right angles at the seam, as shown in figure 3-34. Flat stitch: A flat stitch is used when a strong seam is required, as on a paulin or a sail. Pencil a guideline 1 1/2 or 2 inches from the edge of each strip of canvas, depending on how wide you want the seam. Crease each piece on a line slightly less than halfway to the  guideline.  Make  the  folds  away  from  the  guidelines and interlock the folds away from the guidelines and interlock the folds (fig. 3-35). Interlocking the edges forms a watertight seam and keeps a ragged edge from showing. Insert the needle at the guideline, and stitch diagonally so that stitches appear at right angles to the seam on top but run at an angle on the reverse side. After completing one edge, turn the canvas over and sew the other edge of the seam. Flat stitching also is used for patching. Baseball  stitch:  The  baseball  stitch  is  used  to mend tears in light and medium canvas. Figure 3-36 shows how it is done. Herringbone  stitch:  The  herringbone  stitch  is used to mend tears in heavy or painted canvas. Figure 3-37 shows the steps in making this stitch. Figure  3-35.–Flat  stitch. Figure 3-34.–Round stitching canvas held by a bench hook. 3-26

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