Suzie Valerie, owner of The Enriched Stitch in Connecticut, was so enthusiastic about Essentials that I was excited to try it. Recently I used this 50/50 blend of silk and Merino wool on this Mindy canvas and I loved it. This is a fantastic needlepoint thread!
The thread is the newest from Tilli Thomas, the makers of Planet Earth and Pepperpot. It came out earlier this spring. Shops currently have a stock of it.
First, the specifics about the thread. It is a single-strand two-ply thread that comes on 10 yard cards. The cards are small and have a slit in the bottom part for neat storage. The color name and number as well as the lot number are printed on the front of the card. Currently it comes in 130 colors. Retail price should be well under $3 per card.
The color choice is excellent. There is real depth in the reds and greens, with a great selection of greasy. The smallest number of colors is violets, with only three, but I’m sure more colors will come. If you have used other threads from this company, the color names and numbers are not the same. Looking at the on-line color chart, some of the colors seem weathered. Based on the colors I have seen, these are solid threads, not variegated or heathered.
The thread is designed to be used on 18-mesh canvas. It is not as thin as other silk/wool blends such as Impressions and Poppies. I found it to cover the canvas more completely than those other threads. It has a slight pearl texture and a subtle glow that is a bit more shiny than Impressions, but still very subtle and soft.
Essentials (the lighter grey in the Mindy pictured above) is one of the easiest single-strand threads to use ever. It is soft, softer than cotton, so you can thread your needle more easily than with cotton thread of a similar size. It isn’t as stiff as some metallics so it goes through the canvas more easily. Because it’s thinner than Planet Earth Silk, it’s easier to thread, but still gives complete coverage.
Because Essentials strikes a great balance between thickness and coverage, and between shine and matte, it can become a real workhorse thread for your needlepoint, easy to use for almost any application and priced to make it worth adding to your stash.