“The Eagle Has Landed”                   

Just a few days ago, Intuitive Machines’ spacecraft Odysseus made a soft landing on the moon and began beaming back information.  Quite impressive, indeed. Several countries are now teaming up with private sector businesses to make soft landings on the Moon.  (The SOFT landing is the hard part… that didn’t happen at all between 1972 and 2013).  Of course, the last manned mission to the moon occurred in December of 1972 through the massive Apollo Program. 

If you are as old as me, you may recall hearing perhaps the most famous quote of our times: Neil Armstrong in July of 1969… “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.  (Didn’t even have to Google it!).  My parents let me stay up to watch it live on Television! (I was a young boy, but old enough to remember the event).  That was Apollo 11.

Fast forward to today… it’s interesting that, once again, the moon has become a target.  For many good reasons, of course, but it’s not as easy as breaking out the old drawings from the Apollo missions and building a bunch of rockets.  And while there may be more computing power in your I-phone than on the Command Module, it’s not the same thing!  There are far more complicated equations to solve and, even though your phone might survive being accidentally dropped, that does NOT qualify as hardening for space travel!

Take a look at the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module “Eagle”) … an interesting combination of materials that looks like nothing seen before.  Tens of thousands of manhours went into inventing it and then building it.  Many companies, large and small, were tasked with solving difficult problems and coming up with new materials that simply didn’t exist prior to the manned moon missions. (BLOG POST JUNE 6, 2023 Small Manufacturers….).

So, again, it’s not as easy as breaking out the drawings and making a few phone calls… lots of the talent that figured all of this out is not available for consultation (retired, let’s say….)  and some of the companies that made the components are long-gone or have been gobbled up by larger competitors.

From a materials standpoint today, each component part must be sourced from modern supply chains or designed and manufactured to new standards and specifications. (SUPPLY CHAIN UPDATE)  And everything must be made to withstand the incredibly difficult environment of outer space!

But wait!  Some materials are, thankfully, still readily available from the sources specified way back in the 60’s and 70’s (that’s NINETEEN-60 and NINETEEN-70!!).  It happens that W.F. Lake Corp. is one of them.  (TIME LINE….).

It’s not that this stodgy little company is sitting here waiting for a call from NASA.  No, in fact these materials have found their way into many other mission-critical and safety-critical applications over the years. We’ve also added an impressive number of products to meet the latest challenges our customers bring to us. (NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Feb. 11, 2021).

 And of course, many of our products still work as designed for the most difficult applications of all… space flight!  The Marshall Space Flight Center references our products on their specifications! The full list of specifications we meet is available here.

So, when wires need to be bundled together, just give us a call.  We still manufacture the PTFE coated fiberglass lacing tape and tie cord developed for the original space missions.  And our PTFE coated fiberglass sewing thread is still available for fabricating space suits!  Our PTFE coated fiberglass yarns are ready to insulate the wires and cables running throughout the spacecraft and form the harnesses keeping it together. 

Finally, many of us remember another famous quote from that Apollo 11 mission: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”!! Let’s rise to the challenge and go back again!

We here at W.F. Lake Corp. are ready and waiting with our tried-and-true PTFE Coated Fiberglass products!  Time tested and proven in the most demanding environments on earth… and “to infinity and beyond!” (Quoting Buzz Lightyear for the younger readers… couldn’t resist!).

From the archives, but still relevant today! Belt Repair 101…a how-to and guide for fixing your damaged belt

Can I repair my Teflon* coated fiberglass screen print dryer belt in the field? We often get that question. As usual, the answer depends on the damage done and the amount of wear the belt has experienced.

W.F. Lake Corp. has been manufacturing these belts for quite some time, and we’ve seen some pretty creative repairs made…literally duct tape and bailing wire (but no bubblegum yet)! Truthfully, screen printers are a creative bunch (kinda’ have to be, right?) and often make repairs using whatever is lying around the shop.

We’ve seen ragged cuts from carts that bumped against a running belt; burnt areas created when a belt stopped and sat too close to an IR heater; cuts made when unboxing a new belt; torn edge trim when a belt tracked off the pulleys; broken splices from over-tensioning, etc.  And, of course, lots of belts that are just worn out.

So, can I fix it myself? If it involves simply patching a small hole or sewing on a piece of edge trim, the answer is yes. Use one of our repair kits to put it back into service. If the metal lacing pulled out, give us a call to discuss your options.  If, however, the damage is severe or it is a pulled or torn splice, it probably cannot be fixed in the field but we may be able repair it at the factory. And if the belt is just plain worn out, we usually suggest a new one since the required thermal welding bonds are inhibited by dried inks that may have penetrated the coating.

Whatever the cause, we’re always willing to help out to see if it can be fixed, either in the field using one of our repair kits or sent back to us for investigation / factory reconditioning. It’s worth noting that some customers purchase a new belt and then return their old belt for review to see if it can be repaired and used as an “emergency backup” belt.

The operating characteristics of PTFE coated fiberglass belts are pretty impressive and if care is taken, these belts last a long time. Give us a call, e-mail us a question or ask for a quote out of curiosity. Check out how to measure a belt for the most easy and accurate way to give us the dimensions you need…each of our belts is custom made to your specifications!

Note: Before starting a new Teflon* coated fiberglass screen print dryer belt, be sure to check out our Belt Startup & Operation data.

*Reg. Chemours

PTFE Coated Fiberglass Lacing Tape and Tie Cord

Zip Ties: A handy little time saver. They certainly have their place but…

How many creative ways have you used a zip-tie?  I personally have used them to wrap tarps around a wood pile, hold up fencing to prevent deer from eating my bushes, act like a belt in a pinch, replace a broken buckle on my waders, temporarily hold a pipe while I applied a real clamp… heck, I’ve even used them to bundle wires together (imagine that!).  But while the cheap ones from the hardware store are convenient, they have their limitations.  Even the best, USA made ty-wraps used by industry for serious applications have their limitations.  That’s where PTFE coated fiberglass lacing tape comes in!

While a zip tie (tie wrap, cable tie, wire tie, etc.…) is convenient, there are places where the convenience of these ties cannot be employed.  Regardless of what the tie-wrap is made of, it cannot provide the performance in the most demanding environments that a W.F. Lake Corp. PTFE coated fiberglass lacing tape or PTFE coated fiberglass tie cord can provide. And of course, our products are Made in the USA!

PTFE coated fiberglass will not burn or support flame, is unaffected by virtually any chemicals, will not rot or support fungus and is unaffected by UV light.  These amazing operating characteristics make them suitable for applications where other cable ties would quickly fail.

W.F. Lake Corp. braided lacing tapes and tie cords are used where failure could be very expensive at the least and catastrophic at worst. Most would be considered Mission Critical.  By its nature, a braided product offers a load sharing function between fibers that enhances flexural strength second to none.  The fact that our PTFE coated fiberglass lacing tapes and tie cords are PTFE coated prior to braiding means that mechanical transmission of the load within the braid is much more effective and dramatically reduces the tendency of uncoated fiberglass yarns to abrade against each other.

Where wire ties fail, our flat braided PTFE coated fiberglass lacing tapes and round braided PTFE Coated Tie Cords shine.  Many specifications call them out by W.F. Lake Corp. part number.  Following are a few of them:

Military Specifications:

– MIL-C-20079, Type III, Class 4; W.F. Lake Corp. Part No.: E761-1330

– MIL-C-20079, Type III, Class 6; W.F. Lake Corp. Part No.: E761-314SS

– MIL-T-43435B; W.F. Lake Corp. Part No.: E779-303

– A-A-52083B, Size 2; W.F. Lake Corp. Part No.: E779-303

– A-A-52083B, Size 3; W.F. Lake Corp. Part No.: E779-476

– A-A-52083B, Size 3; W.F. Lake Corp. Part No.: E779-680

– A-A-52083B, Size 4; W.F. Lake Corp. Part No.: E779-1075

Marshall Space Flight Center:

-Table 4.5.2, Lacing Tapes and Tie Cords

               –E779-222, E779-303, E779-476, E779-680, E779-1075, E761-314, E761-668, E761-1330


NASA/TP-1999-209263- Multilayer Insulation Material Guidelines.

-Table 14: Lacing Tapes and Tie Cords

               -Flat Braided Lacing Tapes, PTFE coated before braiding.

                              –E779-222, E779-303, E779-476, E779-680, E779-1075

               -Round Braided Lacing Tape (Tie Cord), PTFE coated before braiding.

                              –E761-314, E761-668, E761-1330

ASTM International, D578 / D579M:

-Standard Specification for Fabrication of Flexible Removable and Reusable Blanket Insulation

 for Hot Service:

               –PTFE Coated Tie Cord and Lacing Tape

Remember that we also manufacture a wide range of PTFE coated fiberglass sewing thread and PTFE coated fiberglass draw cord products as well.

OK, so any creative uses for the PTFE Coated Fiberglass Lacing Tapes and PTFE Coated Fiberglass Tie Cords we make here?  Of course, but don’t tell the boss!

Small Manufacturers play a big role in Support of Mission Critical Applications

Many small manufacturers play key roles in supplying our most critical products, supporting mission critical and even safety critical applications. We’re proud to say that we here at W.F. Lake Corp. have been manufacturing “Made in the USA” mission critical products for over 30 years.

It is interesting to note that W.F. Lake Corp. was specifically identified as one of many small businesses that are critical suppliers of products to the U.S. Government for space related applications.  Recently, we were contacted directly by the U.S. Department of Commerce / Bureau of Industry and Security in coordination with the U.S. Airforce, NASA, and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to complete a survey (required by law) in assessment of supply chain sustainability across the defense, intelligence, civil and commercial space sectors… also known as the Defense Industrial Base Assessment, or the U.S. Space Industry “Deep Dive” Survey.  The goal was to determine how robust the space sector is considering how many small businesses are involved in its success. We are pleased to have completed this in-depth survey advising that our portion of this critical supply chain is Made in the USA and is in good standing going forward as far into the future as anyone could see.

W.F. Lake Corp. manufactures high performance, PTFE coated fiberglass yarns, PTFE coated fiberglass sewing threads, PTFE coated fiberglass tie cords and lacing tapes used in a variety of industries including aerospace, defense, air filtration and plant / personal safety, among others. Our products are considered “mission critical” in that they are necessary for a successful outcome in virtually every environment they operate in.  In many cases they are considered “safety critical” where failure may result in serious environmental damage, injury, or loss of life. 

The impressive operating characteristics of PTFE coated fiberglass yarns, PTFE coated fiberglass sewing threads, tie cords and lacing tapes are why they are specified / approved for use by many aerospace and defense companies and even by NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center itself. (Often with W.F. Lake Corp. as sole source of supply). The full list of specifications we meet is available here.

Applications include PTFE coated fiberglass yarns used to manufacture wire and cable products that perform critical engine control functions in commercial and military aircraft, operate de-icing boots, function as over braids on engine compartment wire harnesses, etc..  These same yarns are braided into PTFE coated fiberglass tie cords and lacing tapes that bundle wiring together inside airframes, tie insulation on spacecraft, insulate naval ship-board engines and drives, etc…

PTFE coated fiberglass sewing threads and PTFE coated fiberglass draw cords are also used in other industries for mission critical applications, including fabrication of safety spray shields in chemical processing plants, flu-gas filtration media and high temperature insulation jackets to both conserve energy and protect personnel from exposure to extreme temperature or chemicals.

W.F. Lake Corp. products have been performing flawlessly in these mission-critical applications for over 30 years.  We take pride in the fact that we support some of the most critical aerospace / defense and safety sectors in the Country (and beyond). We are continuously working with customers and vendors to improve performance and safety, and possibly reduce costs, but other than minor “tweaks”, we always come back to the proven solution in these most critical applications, that is, PTFE coated fiberglass.  When lives are on the line, changing from known solutions is never taken lightly.  PTFE coated fiberglass is often the best and only option available in these most critical applications. Our team, along with our vendors and customers, is proud to offer solutions to the most challenging applications in the world.

Managing Limited Resources

First, what the heck is that in the picture above?  Read on… we’ll get to that.

Effectively managing limited resources is the hallmark of a successful business. If you’ve successfully navigated the last few years, congratulations! You have managed limited resources effectively.

When it comes to limited resources, we are always asking ourselves how can we do better? Without establishing a windfarm or solar farm, for example, how can a small manufacturer work to conserve natural resources?  At W.F. Lake Corp., we’ve already made all the obvious moves, including increased insulation, sealing off air leaks, new and more efficient motors and drives, recapturing excess heat, LED lighting, recycling, etc…

So, how else can a small manufacturer of PTFE coated fiberglass products contribute to better outcomes?  How about focusing more keenly on something that successful manufacturers have been doing all along… re-use, re-cycle, re-pair, re-capture.

As you may have read in my post on shops, we have always had our own fabrication and maintenance shop. We intimately understand all the maintenance and repair needs of each unique piece of equipment we own. When we do take a piece of equipment off-line, we will break it down carefully and hang onto any parts that can be used as spares in other equipment.  Even the steel, for example, gets used again if it makes sense to keep it. Re-use beats recycle every time (and what doesn’t make sense to salvage goes to the recycler, of course). Rebuilding an electric motor and placing it in “spares” saves lots of resources… think of the energy, landfill space, transportation fuels, etc., that are NOT consumed when a simple rebuild / re-use happens.

We also take care to optimize the use of energy in our operations. Producing PTFE coated fiberglass products (including PTFE coated fiberglass sewing threads, fabrics, adhesive tapes, and PTFE coated fiberglass belts) requires heat.  We are fortunate to have clean and abundant natural gas available as an energy source for our coating operation. By moving air thoughtfully throughout the facility and recapturing heat, we rarely need to run the overhead heaters here in our cold Northern New York winters. We conserve lots of this limited natural resource by making the most of what we do consume.

So, what about that picture? It’s a scissors sharpener! A very cost effective/green activity is simply sharpening scissors rather than throwing them in the recycle bin.  As mentioned, we manufacture a wide variety of PTFE coated fiberglass sewing threads, PTFE coated Kevlar* sewing threads and PTFE coated fiberglass yarns.  You can imagine how often we use scissors here and how tough fiberglass and Kevlar* are on the cutting edges. Tossing dull scissors in the recycle bin is neither “green” nor cost effective.  Sharpening scissors in-house makes sense from a “green” standpoint and a financial standpoint.  It may seem inconsequential but keeping small items out of the landfill or recycle bin adds up over time.

Manufacturers have particular interest in being as efficient as possible in their every-day operations. Whether from the standpoint of shop / office supplies, raw materials, or energy, being efficient leads to “greener” outcomes every day. To do otherwise will not only adversely affect the environment, but it will also mean you aren’t going to survive very long as a viable business.

Are Maintenance Shops the Lifeline of a Manufacturing Business? (Hint: Yes! )

In my travels to customer’s and supplier’s manufacturing sites over the years (not so much lately), one thing I’ve always noticed was that most had a nice little maintenance / fabrication shop that was key to supporting their ongoing operations. They also had a couple of highly skilled mechanics or millwrights with extensive knowledge of the operation running these shops. For some reason, I always thought those were the coolest little “operations within an operation”, almost acting like their own little business. I’m proud to say that we, too, have a nice little maintenance / fabrication shop within our facility, staffed as noted above by a couple of highly skilled and uniquely talented individuals.

But why do these businesses have these neat (sometimes not-so-little) shops? Isn’t everything highly automated and run by computers? The answer is that even the highest tech operations need people with skills and aptitudes to keep them running. In our case (and that of many of our customers and suppliers), we are running a wide variety of equipment that has unique needs. While we have our share of digital controllers, those controllers are supporting very mechanical operations. The many and varied products we manufacture require lots of equipment performing operations that need to be completed quickly and accurately.

In one part of our facility, for example, we run ring twisters that use all kinds of speed controllers, relays and timers. The ring twisters themselves employ belts, drives, spindles, feed rolls, timing gears, bearings, pulleys, springs, etc. The actual twist operation itself hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years, but speeds, accuracy and input materials have. All of these parts need regular attention and sometimes complete rebuilding. The large number of PTFE coated fiberglass sewing threads, PTFE coated Kevlar sewing threads, and PTFE coated fiberglass yarns that we manufacture means that we need lots of spindles operating effectively and efficiently. These ring twisters supply product to our coating towers, which in turn supply product to our high-speed winders and PTFE Coated Fiberglass Draw Cord and PTFE Coated Fiberglass Lacing Tape braiders. Our capabilities are many and varied and our level of vertical integration means that it must all run smoothly from start to finish. 

Every piece of equipment ultimately relies on our maintenance shop and mechanics to operate smoothly. Did I mention that our PTFE coated fiberglass fabric coating towers and converting equipment also supply our PTFE coated fiberglass belt operation?  Lots more equipment in that operation as well!

Some days you’ll catch our mechanics building simple carts or racks to improve material flow between departments, other days it’s a modification to an existing rewinder or a better mousetrap!  It’s always something and rarely boring.  These folks know what they’re doing and have an aptitude for it.  As with all our employees, we appreciate their efforts every day and we think it’s pretty cool to have our own maintenance / fabrication shop within our operation.

Why is Quartz Sewing Thread So Expensive?!

PTFE Coated Quartz Sewing Thread has some amazing properties. It operates continuously to 2,000 deg. F (1080 deg. C), making it among the highest temperature textile sewing threads available. Naturally, this performance capability comes at a cost…. but why?

Unlike fiberglass sewing thread, quartz thread is 99.9% pure silica! Fiberglass is nominally 60% silica and “silica” yarns are about 94% pure silica. The purity of Quartz yarn is what enables very high operating temperatures. Excellent tensile and flexural strength make it suitable for use as a sewing thread in extreme thermal insulation applications. Principle applications in yarn or fabric form are military in nature with the majority consumed for defense purposes.

But in this post, we’re talking about high temperature sewing thread applications. PTFE coated Fiberglass sewing threads operate at about 1000 deg. F (E-glass thread). S-2 Fiberglass sewing thread operates to 1400 deg. F (S-2 fiberglass sewing thread with Inconel wire or stainless steel wire enables “fail-safe” operation at very high temperatures, but that is not a pure fiber sewing thread). How about Silica sewing thread? Silica yarns operate to 1800 deg. F, so why not go with a silica sewing thread for all but the most extreme temperatures? The problem is that silica yarn does not exhibit the same tensile and flexural strength as quartz or fiberglass. Silica yarn is produced by chemically leaching fiberglass yarns, thus increasing operating temperatures but degrading tensile and flexural strength. To overcome this weakness, silica threads are often twisted with Rayon yarn to enable sewing, but the Rayon is quickly consumed upon exposure to higher operating temperatures. PTFE coated Quartz sewing thread does not require the addition of Rayon or any other fiber to enhance tensile and flexural strength. Quartz yarns are not simply leached fiberglass yarns, rather they are manufactured by first mining a very high purity quartz ore or sand.  That sand is further cleaned and then processed in high temperature furnaces to produce a clear fused silica rod which becomes the feedstock for manufacturing quartz fibers. You can see where the cost comes into play with a quartz yarn or sewing thread.

Interestingly, a few years ago we were asked to produce a high temperature sewing thread using a customer-supplied silica yarn without adding a Rayon fiber, instead attempting to rely on the PTFE coating to enhance “sewability” and flexural strength. The results were unimpressive. We found the finished Silica sewing thread was weaker than fiberglass or Quartz thread in tensile strength by a factor of 4 to 5 times and weaker in knot strength by a factor of 11 to 12 times! The customer thanked us for our efforts and dropped the project.

So, when it comes to the highest temperature sewing thread available without the use of sacrificial fibers, PTFE coated Quartz sewing thread deserves a close look despite its high cost. In some cases, there simply is no alternative. We currently manufacture 5 sizes from TFQ-12 to TFQ-30. (Remember, however, that in most cases the cost of the actual thread used in the final product represents a small fraction of the overall cost of the finished product… sounds like an opportunity for another blog post… wait, we already wrote that one, and you can find it here!).

Thanks for taking a moment to read our latest post. As always, let us know if you have any questions or would like to see a sample.

Supply Chain Update.

It’s been a little over a year since our post on Supply Chains and an update seems timely. Tight supplies, shipping delays and steady price increases seem to be the norm. “Transitory Inflation” continues to wreak havoc on pricing and none of us are exempt from dealing with it.

From a supply chain perspective, lessons were certainly learned by all and applied by many.  In our case, we were fortunate to have been designated an essential industry and equally as fortunate to have kept most production going throughout the worst of it. As such, we built up finished goods inventory that allowed us to quickly respond when business started to rebound early in the second quarter. 

Additionally, our vertical integration strategy developed from day one of operations (way back in 1991!) continues to pay dividends.  This makes it a little easier to hold a higher-than-normal raw material inventory because many fiberglass yarn inputs can be twisted and plied into a number of different products, effectively buffering our supply chain. For example, ECBC-150 1/0 fiberglass yarn supports more than 20 styles of finished PTFE coated fiberglass sewing thread. Some of those are industry standard ASTM D4030 sizes including R753-12, 18 and 24.  Others have stainless steel wire twisted in, are available in colors, etc…  As demand fluctuates between various sizes / styles of thread, we can react quickly and cost-effectively.  Vertical integration to the rescue!  Another example is S-2 fiberglass yarn that becomes over a dozen styles of S-2 fiberglass sewing threads with pretty impressive operating characteristics.  Of course, braided PTFE coated fiberglass draw cords and PTFE coated fiberglass yarns also share inputs. 

Pursuing vertical integration for all these years means that our raw material inventory has become quite versatile.  When carrying extra inventory makes sense, we do it with no hesitancy.  Of course, PTFE is the other “main ingredient.” Maintaining multiple sources for PTFE dispersion and carrying higher inventory levels is an obvious requirement. Maintaining this level of inventory certainly comes at a cost, but uninterrupted supply beats line shutdowns every time. Keeping our customers up and running with as little delay as possible affords them a competitive advantage.  We’ve been able to stay ahead of supply issues to date, and if things don’t get any worse we should be in good shape.

Pricing, however, has become another matter entirely!  This “transitory inflation” is looking a little less transitory, but we are hoping for a much smoother 2022.  Current cost increases are real and have the potential to impact investment opportunities if not addressed.  To date, we continue to invest in process improvements, equipment upgrades and employee growth.  Things would have to get a lot worse for us to slow down on investments…continual reinvesting in our business is what got us here in the first place.

Vertical integration made sense to us years ago when we started this business (1991) and now seems more important than ever. Our capabilities are second to none and give us maximum control of quality, lead times and costs. Rest assured that when you work with W.F. Lake Corp., you are working with a company that removes as many links in the supply chain as practical  (with the majority of our raw materials coming from North America). 

Thank you, as always, for your continued support. 

Stay safe and take care!

Custom Creative Solutions

We get some interesting opportunities here at W.F. Lake Corp.! I’ve touched on many of our unique capabilities in our PTFE coated fiberglass sewing thread operation, where we can twist in wire with Kevlar* or fiberglass, make colors of fiberglass yarns, make colors of braided PTFE coated fiberglass draw cords, etc. Today we’ll take a look today at some of the interesting PTFE coated fiberglass belts we manufacture.

We sometimes refer to Custom Products as PTFE coated fiberglass belts (or commonly Teflon* coated fiberglass belts), but they really are custom fabricated combinations of materials designed for unique applications. All of this starts with a conversation, and that conversation usually begins with “can you guys make something that will ‘fill in the blank’??”. Our unique capabilities in our belt department enable us to combine materials in unique ways to solve tricky problems.

For example, we make a “Rotary Kiln Seal” that combines PTFE coated Kevlar*, PTFE coated fiberglass fabric, and PTFE coated fiberglass sewing thread into a high temperature gasket for a rotating kiln. This seal had to operate in a high temperature and high friction environment for months at a time.  The fabric provided reduced friction against the hot face of the rotating kilns while the Kevlar* worked to reinforce the outer face. Of course, our fiberglass thread held it all together at extreme temperatures.  This kiln seal did not look anything like one of our PTFE coated fiberglass mesh belts, but we used those same capabilities to make it happen.

In another case, a customer asked if we could put “cleats” on a PTFE coated fiberglass belt. Cleats? Sure, but what are we going to make those out of those? This belt had to operate at 500 deg. F in a curing oven. Operating temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit rule out most belting materials, but not PTFE coated fiberglass.  Still, we had never put cleats on one of our belts. Interestingly, the cleats were needed because this belt was required to run up a slight incline and product would slip down the belt if no cleats were installed. So, we made up some samples and settled on standing cleats 2” tall made with layers of PTFE coated fiberglass laminated together (essentially a small board of PTFE coated fiberglass). We bonded and sewed those cleats to a belt material and the problem was solved!

I could go on, but the point is that when it comes to PTFE coated fiberglass belts (or custom fabricated products) we are able to combine our unique processing capabilities with the wide range of materials we manufacture and come up with some pretty creative solutions. Since we perform all these operations in-house, ideas turn into samples quickly. The best of those ideas and samples often become unique products to solve your most demanding application needs. Give us a shout or zing us a note and we’ll get the ball rolling!

High Temperature Sewing Thread

What qualifies as high temperature sewing thread? In our industry, we typically consider a high temperature sewing thread to operate above 400 deg. F ( 200 C). Lower temperature threads abound and are used in great volume in your everyday life. The thread in your cotton shirt can handle over 200 deg. F. However, that does not qualify as “High Temperature Thread” from an industrial standpoint. While 200 degrees is certainly hot to the touch and dangerous, for industrial sewing threads, 200 F (93 C) is considered low temperature.

As noted above, our industry considers high temperature sewing thread to be a thread that operates above 400 deg. F (200 C). At that point, your choice in materials, sizes, colors, and finishes begins to diminish rapidly. With colors, for example, we manufacture Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, among others, but we do not offer shamrock green, fern green and seaweed green!  Additionally, as temperature increases, your material choices and color options diminish even further. ”Sewability” typically decreases as well. The high temperature sewing thread we manufacture includes PTFE coated Para-aramids (Kevlar by DuPont), E-glass and S-2 glass fiberglass, Quartz and combinations of steel or Inconel wire with each of these fibers. Para-aramids require the least number of changes in the sewing process versus fiberglass or quartz but limit out in continuous operating temperature to about 450 F (204 C). The maximum temperature limit of any thread we manufacture is PTFE coated Quartz thread at 2,000 deg. F (1100 deg. C). As previously noted, we can twist into the thread up to 10 strands of stainless steel or Inconel wire to enhance the “fail-safe” working limit of the thread or to enhance static dissipation.


Of course, sewing with these threads demands adjustments to equipment and to your expectations of throughput! Slower sewing machine speeds are required along with other adjustments and accommodations. Some sewing tips for high temperature sewing threads can be found HERE. In the case of fiberglass and quartz sewing thread, PTFE coating enhances sewability and reduces the potential for breakage. It also enhances chemical resistance and the buildup of contaminates. We modify our PTFE coating to make colors and enhance UV resistance of Para-aramid threads.

We manufacture the industry’s widest range of high temperature PTFE coated fiberglass sewing threads and PTFE coated para-aramid sewing threads. If our wide variety of products do not meet your unique needs, then remember that we have some unique capabilities that allow us to create all kinds of different combinations of materials to produce a specialty thread that meets your application parameters.

Of course, extreme operating temperatures also often come with extreme chemical exposures. In that case, our PTFE coating capabilities offer definite advantages to uncoated threads beyond enhancing sewability and reduced breakage. We’ll take a look at those advantages in another post.

When it comes to high temperature sewing thread, think of W.F. Lake Corp. first.  In the unlikely event we don’t currently manufacture the thread you need, we can quickly and cost effectively develop something to solve your most demanding high temperature sewing needs!