Linen is one of my favorite fibers. Although its use in embroidery isn’t very common, it has a strength and sheen which is unique. People who like linen really like linen and can’t get enough of it. I came across two new linen an linen-blend threads recently I want to share with you. Green Mountain Linen is a 20/2 linen, which is a perfect size for 18 mesh canvas. It comes in 20 yard packages. Like most linen threads, it’s a bit stiff and somewhat hairy — it’s the solid brown example in the photo. Oriental Linen is from The Thread Gatherer and is a blend of linen an silk. It is made up of two, two-ply strands, which can be divided into two strands for stitching. The thread I used in the sample has one ply of rust and one of a brownish green in each two-ply strand. Although I could basketweave using the full strand as it can from the skein, I found using only two-ply looked nicer and was easier to work. The presence of silk seemed to soften the thread and made it easier to use while still allowing the crispness of the linen to show through. There are 20 colors in this thread and it’s really worth seeking out.
Over the summer Rainbow Gallery came out with a narrower version of Frosty Rays, called Petite Frosty Rays, designed for using on 18 mesh canvas. If, like me, you like this thread, but found yourself fighting with it when you worked on smaller mesh sizes — this thread is a dream come true. I couldn’t believe how beautifully it stitched on 18 mesh. At TNNA they came out with a new series of Fyrewerks called Soft Sheen. These threads don’t have as high a metallic content and so they are much easier to pull through the canvas. They are softer and not as shiny as well. Also a bit narrower to my eye, so they lay better on 18 mesh. But they use a different base thread than the metallic and holographic versions, so this thread cannot be separated. There are only a few soft colors, but this great thread should be expanded!
& More has two threads a wool and a wool/silk blend. The Merino Silk is a combination of silk and wool which is available in 24 colors. Merino wool is which is available in 65 colors. The manufacturer recommends that on 18 mesh canvas you use 3 strands on unpainted and 2 on painted canvas. I used two strands and was happy with the coverage. Merino wool is the softest wool and the Merino Silks is so soft you just want to pet it.