All About Silk and Ivory Thread

Silk and Ivory thread is a lovely needlepoint yarn.

Silk and Ivory is a luscious 50% silk/50% Merino wool single strand non-divisible thread. When Serendipity Needleworks was a retail shop, it was my #1 best selling thread… and with good reason. You can use it on so many different sizes of needlepoint canvas, for starters. And in addition to that, you can use it for cross-stitch, knitting, and crochet!

Brown Paper Packages is the company that imports Silk and Ivory from Switzerland.

Each skein has 28.8 yards, which makes it one of the more economical thread options available to today’s stitcher. There are currently 250 exquisite colors available in a terrific assortment of color families.

The range of colors within each family is quite nice, as well – and the names are super fun! With monikers like Tomato Soup, Salsa, Cherry Tomato, and Tamale, who can resist? And speaking of those resplendent reds, here’s a picture for you, along with some of their vibrant yellows and oranges…

Warm colors of Silk and Ivory thread provide a lovely palette from which to choose.

When working with Silk and Ivory thread…

Cut your pieces approximately 18″ long – and remember to keep a short tail (approximately 2″).

Wondering why you should do that? Well, the eye of a tapestry needle is punched and that means it has sharp-ish edges that can damage your thread. If you start with a longer tail and then slide the needle up the length of the thread as you’re stitching, you may end up fraying the thread in multiple places and your stitches won’t look as pretty.

It’s a great thread for stitching all kinds of canvases – from stocking and stand-ups to ornaments and framed designs!

You may also use it for pillows, but be aware that it has a slight tendency to “pill” (i.e., get those little fuzz balls) when used on items that receive a lot of handling. Consequently, I don’t recommend using it to stitch wearables like belts, purses, cummerbunds, etc.

I think it’s the perfect option for 13/14 mesh when you’re working a piece in the tent stitch. You’ll get full coverage of the canvas without having to use a laying tool – and that makes it a terrific thread for beginning stitchers to use.

If your canvas is 18 mesh, I think you’ll find that it’s a little thick when working in the tent stitch – especially basketweave! I stitched the “Roll Tide” ornament in the picture below several years ago and whoa, Nellie – my hands were so tired after each stitching session that I swore I’d never do that again!

This needlepoint ornament, by Needle Graphics Designs, was stitched entirely in Silk and Ivory thread.

Now, I reserve Silk and Ivory for longer stitches when I’m working on 18 mesh canvas.

Below, you can see how well it covers when you’re using decorative stitches. Starting at the top left and working your way around (clockwise), you see the Hungarian ground stitch, the Milanese stitch, the Hungarian stitch, and the diagonal mosaic stitch.

You can use Silk and Ivory on 18 mesh canvas to create lovely decorative stitch patterns like those in this picture.

If your canvas is 13/14 mesh, you’ll find that it’s a little too thin to use for decorative stitches that are horizontal or vertical (straight) stitches, like the Hungarian stitch and the Hungarian ground stitch.

Luckily, the smart folks at Brown Paper Packages created the perfect solution: Trio!

Trio is a divisible thread that you can strand. It’s 50% silk/50% Merino wool – just like Silk and Ivory – and the color palette is the same, too, which means you can use both threads on the same piece.

Use one strand of Trio for 18 or 20 mesh canvas and use two strands for 13 or 14 mesh canvas. If you’re working on a 10 mesh canvas, you’ll need to use all three strands.

The beauty of Trio is that you can use however many pieces you need to get the kind of coverage you’re trying to achieve.

I’m using Silk and Ivory on Ruth’s Christmas stocking. Have you ever used either Silk and Ivory or Trio on one of your needlepoint projects? If you did, did you like it? I’d love to hear from you! 😉

Alrighty, that’s all for now. Thank you ever so much for popping in for a visit. Have a terrific week and I’ll see you next time.

Until then, happy stitching!

Stitch with a smile!






6 thoughts on “All About Silk and Ivory Thread”

    • Awww.. thank you, Cindy! That’s so sweet of you to say. Thank you for being part of our Serendipity Needleworks family.

    • It’s one of my favorite threads, too, Sally! I’m working on my granddaughter’s stocking right now and a lot of it will be stitched using Silk and Ivory. 😉

  1. I’m using Silk and Ivory on a Canvas Works piece and as long as I insert it into the needle with the nap of the thread, I haven’t had pilling on 13 ct. It’s a lovely thread and the colors are beautiful! Thank you Ellen

    • Hi Kathy!
      Thank you for sharing your experience with Silk and Ivory. It’s definitely one of my favorite threads! I think it has one of the loveliest color palettes around. I’m enjoying seeing your progress on your Canvas Works project… thank you for sharing the pictures in our Stitcher’s Club community. 🙂


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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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