As a needlepointer I find shopping at chain craft stores hit or miss at best. While huge and well-stocked, chain craft stores cannot replace a real needlepoint store. Many of the things we want, you won’t find here. Having said that I had a ton of fun at the new store in Concord, CA and can recommend it as a place to get interesting and useful items for needlepoint.
I was not able to get through the store in the time I had, so many areas were not explored. They will have to wait for another visit.
First off, when you look at needlework supplies, you’ll find some private label names along with more familiar ones. Needlework and knitting tools often come from Yarnology. I bought a pretty sliding needlecase from them that has the entire bottom covered with a magnet.
Their private label for threads is artiste. While they did stock DMC floss, other threads were this brand. This included variegated floss and pearl cotton, metallic floss, #8 crochet cotton, nylon thread, and several others. The prices were attractive and I bought several to try.
One place where the store shone was in the selection of tulle on spools. This transparent fabric can be used to make or change a background because you can stitch through it easily. I found 6″ wide spools in solid colors, metallics, and patterns. These had 25 yards on them. This kind of tulle you can find many places, but without this kind of assortment.
Then I found something new, mesh tulle with metallic, on 10-yard spools. This fabric has a random pattern of colored and metallic threads, almost like an extremely loose felt. It is thin and transparent though. It came in several color and metallic combinations and patterns. It’s going to make am amazing stand-alone background for small areas.
Next I moved to pens where you can find Pigma Microns in several colors and tips. You can also find Copic markers in sets and as individual pens, though they do not have all colors available. These are my preferred pens for marking canvas. I also found there, and will be testing the Faber Castell PITT artist pens, which contain India Ink. While permanent, they may not be suitable for canvas.
Coloring your own clothing has become popular and I found many intriguing products in the wearable art aisles to test on needlepoint canvas. These are not those plasticized paints in the little bottles, although those are still around. These are pens of various kinds that should be able to color your canvas.
Tulip had two products: dye pens and fabric markers. The dye pens can be used on wet or dry fabric and must be heat set with an iron. They only came in a set of 8 colors plus black. The fabric markers came in several sets. They say they set after 24 hours (no heat setting needed) and that they are machine washable.
Finally I got a set of Crayola Fabric Markers. THey need dry completely (although it does not say how long this takes) and heat set with either an iron or in the dryer. The washing instructions say the colors might bleed during the first wash (a non-no for needlepoint).
I’m very excited about these products and all the possibilities for needlepoint. I’ll be reporting back on the results of my tests. And on my next trip, I’ll be looking for finishing supplies and embellishments.