If you’re like a lot of stitchers, you have a love-hate relationship with them. You love the way they look, but you hate working with them. Well, guess what? I’m going to share some tips with you that’ll make working with metallic threads so much easier, you’ll be chomping at the bit to add a little bit of bling to everything you stitch. Sound good? Great – let’s dive in!
There are a variety of metallic threads available today. Some of them are real metal, like those you use in goldwork embroidery. Others are synthetic, like Kreinik and Rainbow Gallery metallic braids.
There are different sizes of metallic thread. In fact, there’s a size, color, and texture for every need – for everything from fine details to background work and filling stitches. As a general rule of thumb, you can use metallic threads anywhere a design component is naturally light-reflective.
needles are sized so that the higher the number assigned to the needle, the finer it actually is. So, a size 24 needle is finer (or smaller) than a size 22 and a size 22 is finer (or smaller) than a 20, and so on.
While we’re chatting about needles, did you know that the eye of a needle is punched by a machine, so, it has a right side and a wrong side? If you’re having a hard time threading your needle, simply turn it over and try threading it from the other side. And if you want more tips for selecting the right needles for your projects, click here.
I’ve found a couple of different things work really well to get the kinks out.
Did you know that Kreinik’s little black spools have nifty end caps that you can use to secure the end of thread after you cut it for your project? I didn’t either, for the longest time. (I learned that little trick at a class at market one summer!)
Well, both sides of the spool open, so look for the side where the thread end is located. Insert your thumbnail under the cap, and rotate the spool while gently lifting the cap to release the thread (the cap should not pop off). Snap the lid shut to secure the unused portion so it won’t unwind in your project bag.
The Medium (#16) and Heavy (#32) Braids have a lock-flange mechanism: the thread ‘locks’ in the groove around the top of the spool. Just pull the thread to release it or wrap the thread in the groove to secure the unused portion. Pretty cool, huh?!
and they range in size from size 4 Very Fine Braid all the way up to size 32 Heavy Braid. Size 8 Fine Braid, size 12 Tapestry Braid, and size 16 Medium Braid are the ones I use the most – and I work on primarily 13 mesh and 18 mesh canvas.
First, you can’t divide braids because, well, they’re braids. Thin strands are literally braided together during manufacturing to create the single strand that comes on those little black spools. That’s why there are so many different sizes – so you have a variety of options to help you achieve the look you’re trying to create on your canvas. Use them as a single strand in your needle.
like snow that glistens, stars that glow, candlelight that flickers, and butterflies, fish and birds that shimmer.
Use their light-reflecting properties to evoke a particular mood in a design; imagine the mystical shimmer of a mermaid’s tail, the radiant glimmer of an angel’s wings, a sparkling summer lake or a glittering winter snowfall.
If you’d like to learn more about metallic threads, be sure and tune in to Serendipi-TV this Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CDT on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page.
And if you’d like my FREE printable guide for using metallic threads to embellish your needlepoint projects, click the button below.
Until next time, happy stitching!
PS: If you happen upon this blog post after July 11, 2019, hop over to our YouTube channel to watch the recording of my Serendipi-TV episode about metallic thread. And while you’re there, I invite you to subscribe to our channel so you can keep up to date on the latest from Serendipity Needleworks.
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