POST CLOSURE SALE: Yes, the Golden Witch webstore is turned off. However, if you want to bulk-buy Pearsall’s silk, here’s the deal. Send an email to the shop with your FIRM order for $1500 worth of silk at the current (reduced) prices….and below that list add on another $1000 or so in acceptable substitutions. In short, we may not have every spool you desire and/or the quantity you desire. Assuming that between your primary preferences and secondary preferences we can accommodate a $1500 minimum order at the current webstore pricing, we’ll put that order together for you and issue a PayPal invoice for your order, less a further 20% discount. If the order hit $1500 on the button, you’d pay only $1200.00 and shipping is on the house. See the closure note elsewhere on this site to get a sense for when it’s wise, or unwise, to email. Thanks!
FINAL INVENTORY! Stock up on this glorious silk while you can.
As we enter our final days, the prices on these collectible silks are actually going down, especially in the less desirable colors. Time for us to purge! Time for you to hoard! Have fun – especially if your signature colors for rods or flies aren’t the norm.
Naples Antique Gold is now SOLD OUT. Purple Gossamer is now SOLD OUT.
All Pearsall’s Silk Sales Are Final. No Exceptions. Thanks For Your Understanding.
Check our our Unique Items page to see if these ten spools of Pearsall’s Gossamer in Black are still available. We’ve also added a GW/Mason Leather Spool Box (with 36 spools of Gossamer – twenty-four in the box, plus a full box of Classic Chestnut, too). Update 7/12/22 – these two items have sold. Watch for more Unique Items! Thanks!
7/12/22 – Less than one box of Pearsall’s Naples in Black remains. Many other options are close to selling out, too. Buy now. We are CLOSING the shop this year.
4/20/22 – While restocking Pearsall’s from the safe to the picking bins, I found a partial box of Highland Green and four spools of Purple! Grab it while you can!
3/25/22 – Less than one box of Naples Antique Gold remains – this is a popular thread, so if you need some, now’s the final chance to grab it from our inventory.
3/7/22 – Cardinal in Gossamer joins the colors that are now Sold Out. Several other colors are within six spools of being sold out.
Update – We’re very low on most colors, we’ve sold out of a few colors and others will definitely sell out this year. If you need a stash, now is the time to make that happen. That said, we recently purchased another stash of mint condition Pearsall’s from a retiring rodmaker. Golden Witch’s original inventory of Pearsall’s had a maximum price per spool of $14.95; inventory purchased after the demise of Pearsall’s will be priced appropriately – about $20.00 to $40.00 per spool as I type this note – so we can make our margins. Please don’t complain about the pricing…I know it’s rough, but this stuff has become collectible. No two ways about it, this stuff is getting expensive and will be more expensive on eBay once all the retailers have sold their final inventory. If you have a stash, protect it well….keep it dry, zip-lock bag it with desiccant if you want to be safe, and store the sealed bags in a dark closet. Make beautiful rods, and tie the finest flies. Catch a few worthy fish.
If you buy Pearsall’s silks, please check out using PayPal as your payment option. This allows us to quickly refund your account if you order more thread than we can supply. We cannot make instant refunds on regular credit card purchases since our CC bank erases the card data instantly in order to protect your information…safe, but a PITA when it comes to refunds. Alternately, if you don’t want a refund, please list other silk colors you’d accept as alternatives if we can’t fully fill your order. We do try to delist silks as soon as they’re sold out, but sometimes orders will stack up overnight before we can change the inventory status.
Great question from Sean: I was reading that one can take the Pearsall’s Marabou Floss and separate the strands into continuous filaments. I am wondering if one of these strands would be similar to the gauge of gossamer. I know it’s an oddball question, but black gossamer is getting expensive. The color range of Marabou is not as extensive but the basics are there.
My (expanded) response: Gossamer is several strands raveled into a thread, so it’s thicker than the individual filaments you might tease apart from a floss. Floss is, you’re correct here, continuous filaments that are laid down together in a strand, but not ‘spun’ up into a thread. (And worth noting here, all the good silk threads are ‘spun’ from continuous filaments; the bad stuff is spun silk composed of jagged little sections of filaments, the scrap leftover from unraveling the cocoons. It’s a shame we don’t have two words to really clarify the difference between crap thread, spun thread,as opposed to continuous filament thread, and the basic process used to form thread as opposed to floss.) Threads go down round(ish), while floss lays flat…very different animals, whether on a hook shank or a blank. My gut says you’re better off tipping with Kimono #380 or Pearsall’s Black in Naples. Or, find another color (or colors) of Gossamer that’s still available and buy a small supply, then tip with that. Think of Payne rods…a java primary wrap and often two tone tipping….I’ve seen cream (or some other pale yellow) followed with purple, which can appear black under aged varnish. You could do primrose or lemon co-tipped with one of the clarets. Lots of other worthy pairings, too. Food for thought anyway. I can’t speak out against black tipping because that’s what I typically use, but if you look to history for precedent, there are a lot of other ‘proper’ color options, and maybe some improper possibilities, too.
Fellow rodmakers & restorationists, It is with immense sadness that we must announce the near extinction of the Pearsall’s line of silks. From what we’ve been able to learn, Pearsall’s stopped producing silks for the fly tying and rod whipping ends of the angling world several years ago. Everyone who wraps rods with Pearsall’s has been living on borrowed time, as the reserves of inventory slowly dwindled, both here in the U.S. and ‘back home’ in Britain. We kept our prices low for years and years because there was no urgency, no sense that the inventory reserves would fail. But they had to. With our most recent order, we ran up against the harsh reality of unfulfilled lines in our purchase order marked “No Longer Available.” Grim words. Thankfully we had decent in-house reserves of most colors, so we’ll be able to offer Pearsall’s silks for another year or so. Get them while you can. Black Gossamer is 100% gone; Purple is 100% gone. We have no inventory in these two colors. As I type this update, we’re down to five spools of Cardinal. Several colors are only a few dozen spools deep in our inventory…as a sampling on 11/10/17 we’ve got 51 Dark Olive; 44 Light Olive; 48 Highland Green; 46 Brown; 48 Dark Claret in Gossamer…In Naples, we’re down to 36 spools of Scarlet and 37 of Black. Inventory changes daily, so please don’t put much stock (pun intended) in this list.
As many of you know, once a silk goes out of stock, forever, the value of the spools climbs to the point where it’s unattainable for all but the most serious restorationists. Market pricing sets in as inventories around the world diminish. Out of production silk is like a dead lobster. Not nearly so tasty, true, but a valuable and limited resource none-the-less, and priced accordingly. Our remaining stocks of Pearsall’s silks reflect market pricing as best as we can discern it. Black Gossamer is priceless, only because we have none to offer. Purple was $12.95/spool until it sold out (I found four spools on 4/20/22 and these will be priced higher), and the other colors drift downwards toward $5.95…but all will trend upwards as we reach the end of our stocks. We’ve heard that other vendors are also selling down, and out, of Black Gossamer; every other color will follow suit. As FYI, some colors are less expensive because they’re not popular with rodmakers. Some are less expensive because our importer still has stock on hand. Some are more expensive because our bins are nearly empty and we can’t get more.
Buy what you need, but not more than you need. For my own part, I have a precious reserve of Classic Chestnut set aside. That’s my favorite color for rod wrapping. What’s yours?
Orders will be treated first come, first serve. The fact that you got the silk into your shopping cart does not mean we have it in stock. Orders are not considered final until we pick your silk into your bin prior to shipping. We’ll refund any excess amount you paid if you order more than we have available (and we’ll remove that color from inventory). Inventory changes by the hour, so please don’t write to ask if we have a color in stock, just order it. If it’s there when we pick your order, it’s yours at the price indicated on the website at the time you submitted your order. We’ll aim to remove colors from the on-line inventory within 24 hours of them running dry. This sell-down could take months, or a year in some cases…days in other cases. If a color is not listed, it’s sold out. Please don’t write to ask if we have back stock – we don’t. If we can locate more of a given color, we’ll re-list it, but don’t get your hopes up.
For reference purposes, here’s the original text from our Pearsall’s page:
Pearsall’s is what the hobbyists have discovered over the past decade. Pearsall’s has a history that extends back over 200 years. Its fine diameter and soft twist equate to smoother wraps with fewer gaps, as well as promoting the even absorption of finish. Because it is made from long strands of continuous filament silk, rather than choppy, spun silk, it has far fewer of the dread fuzzies that can foul your finish. Properly burnished and finished, this silk looks as though it has been poured in place. Pearsall’s comes in two diameters. Their ethereal Gossamer is the finest silk on the market. In the elusive “ought” ratings, Gossamer is 6/0, if not a bit finer. Naples is roughly 4/0. Naples is about the same diameter, maybe even a mite heavier, than Japanese #100, which is claimed to have an equivalent 3/0 rating. Marketing, marketing. Until Pearsall’s, and the other brands, all adopt a scientific standard, such as the “TEX” ratings, diameter will remain slightly mysterious and thus continue to foster arguments between the various partisans. Suffice to say, the Gossamer is aptly named and the Naples is still a very fine diameter thread. Naples is a bit easier to wrap with and, some say, preferable for wrapping ferrule tabs even if the guides are wrapped in gossamer. If you’re tipping, there’s no doubt that a tiny spool of Gossamer silk is unparalleled for the task.
All seventeen standard colors and all six classic rodmaking colors are available in the Gossamer diameter. Naples offers a more limited palette, but does include the rodmaking colors along with Black and Scarlet. Please see the color chart.
The custom-dyed lot of jasper is currently the only jasper silk being produced for rodmakers, and it is far more affordable than what the collectors will charge for a spool of original Heddon silk. We also have Java Brown (similar to Jim Payne’s Java Beige), Antique Gold (similar to Lyle Dickerson’s favorite), and Classic Chestnut (which matches some Wes Jordan rods), Royal Hunt, and Straw. No additional classic rodmaking colors will be issued by Pearsall’s. That’s a shame. However, we can all count ourselves fortunate that they did develop, and continue to produce, the current colors.
If you haven’t tried Pearsall’s Silks, you’re missing out.