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stropping diferant canvas


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i no its been mentioned before.

this morning i shaved with a da honed straight of ralfys coti. i stroped on my kanayama linen 6/60 leather. i never liked the linen on kanayama and i have had my douts about it. any way the shave was rough. i went staright to my tm linen and then kanayama leather 60/60.

continued shaving the diferance much smoother and sharper not perfect but it was like i'd actaualy rehoned a little. that to me proves differant linen makes big differance . i've always sworer by tm linen and will defanatley be using it as my nu 1 linen . kanayama linen seems to harsh to me and i'm sure it does'nt do my razors any justice.TM cotton is also pritty nice stuff but the linen as always made the differance .


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Andreas63 said:
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Gary IS mr

I have found that different canvas makes a difference too, the R+R one I have does give as smooth an edge as my Dovo, but the leather side is as nice if not a bit better.

Best wishes
Ralfson (Groggy from too much sleep)


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Gary, I've seen you mention this a couple of times now, and I'm sorry you aren't happy with the linen.

The linen on these strops is, in fact, unusual, but it's intentionally so.

The philosophy toward linen use in Japan is, as I understand it, something like a refresher/cleaner--skillful use of the linen can bring back a dulling edge, but you need stiffer material to do so (for daily use, it's intended more as a way to clean the edge of oils and residual cream). This is what Naomi-san told me, and I've seen it referred to elsewhere. Naomi-san actually views the linen as a point of pride.

I myself do use the Kanayama linen every day, and I've certainly not noticed any roughness to the edges. But then, I only do 20-30 laps, not 60.


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what i found was the razor i honed was not quite there and bart as always said canvas the right type will improve the edge or fin, also the hht proves that it does. i have tryed several canvasers and the tm linen works better after coticule honing and we always do 60/60 after fresh honed edge20/40 before each shave. the kanayama linen most lik;ey did'nt cause the roughness i've used it several times. The differamnce was the TM linen peaked my razor to where it should be the kanayama linen just does'nt do the same job it seems to do nothing for me except prepare it for the leather by cleaning the edge.

i have to be onest and say it sounds and feels not right for my razors its way to abrasive. i'm sure ray uses it but its not for me.


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About the 20-30 laps on linen vs. the 60 suggested in the 'Academy':

I'd assume the instructions in the academy are general ---- what should work for most people. I'm sure most people start with the instructions and then modify them for their preferences and their equipment. That's probably one of the intentions of the instructions anyway.

I have been experimenting with different stropping sequences and have found that in the case of my HA horsehide strop, I can get away with about 10-15 laps on the felt, and 30-odd laps on the leather. On my vintage Sears strop with linen and Cordovan Shell I do more laps.

Past a certain amount of laps, more stropping is not going to do much good. On coarser linen, you could probably use fewer laps to 'bring back' an edge slightly (I'm not convinced about this, BTW --- I just use linen to clean and dry the edge); whereas on smoother linen you may need to use more laps.

This is similar to using leather strops with different draw.


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I have a Kanayama linen strop and quite like it. I did something horrible (adding Dovo white paste to it), and like it even more now. The paste was probably entirely unnecessary and placebo on such stiff linen. I had gone from an untreated TM cotton strop. I also don't ever use more than 30-50 laps on this side, though.


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danjared said:
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For a long time I used the Dovo linen (cotton, comes treated with white canvas dressing from the factory). It has a smooth stropping feel, only slightly rougher than leather. I later replaced it with Tony Miller's genuine linen, made on size to fit my Old Traditional leather strop (sold without linen component). The genuine linen feels much coarser than the Dovo canvas, but after comparing both for several months, I am convinced that the Dovo canvas has superior efficiency over the naked genuine linen. It has to be the white dressing (most likely chalk-based). Several weeks ago, I pulled the trigger and treated my genuine linen with Dovo white canvas dressing. The linen became notably softer to the feel, but clearly gained efficiency. I definitely like it better now.

Obviously it all comes down to personal preference, but I am personally convinced that freshly honed Coticule edges need a good linen to shine. I could do it with the untreated genuine linen, but it took longer and it required a narrow landing zone on the hone. The treated linen allows for a slightly wider landing zone on the Coticule.

I can't comment on the Kanayama linen, as I never tried one. I would really frown to learn that doing more than 20-30 laps on a linen would proof to be counterproductive.:confused:

Concerning the lap counts advised in the articles: they indeed are a starting point. They are what I do, and aimed to be enough at all circumstances. I don't think I could reduce lap count on the linen much, but on the leather, it could be much more than required. I'm just adopted the general advice, till we find time to setup a good experiment in the Researcher's Mess. Certainly if the razor is "pre-stropped" on linen, which leaves only the task of alignment to the leather, I can imagine that it takes far less laps than the current general advise.

Kind regards,


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I personally haven't counted laps on the strop since I became competent at using it. After following this thread for a while I decided to do 60/60 before my shave today. It is much more than I am used to doing and I gave up counting after 35 on the linen. Given the fact that I got fed up stropping so early I reckon I must do something more like 20/20 on a regular basis. It is quite possible, but I don't think I am under stropping my razors, however, the edge on this razor was much improved over the last time I used it. This razor was new to me and the previous shave left me thinking that I might actually have found a razor that is too sharp for me. I'm sure it was the linen that calmed the edge down and left it just as sharp as it was before but super smooth this time. I had the best shave I have ever had with one pass (The previous shave irritated my neck a bit and left me wary to try another pass). FYI It's a Wonderedge which I'm told was finished on Chromium Oxide and then Cerium Oxide.
I'm slowly coming round to the merits of stropping on linen.

BTW I have 2 Tony Miller strops. One has a Cotton fabric. The other is genuine linen. I don't know which one is which! One has a coarse weave, the other very fine. I like the fine one but would like to know what it is. Any ideas?


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Cheers Bart.:thumbup:
I just noticed that the Linen strop is not as rough on the underside. I might try turning it round and give it another go. I had considered treating it with the Dovo white paste or maybe even the TI paste, but I just grew to like the Cotton strop so much that I never gave a second thought to using the Linen one again.