On Monday we talked about some off-the-beaten path places to find threads. In today’s article we’ll look at several other locaions and threads.
Bead stores – Silk cord is the traditional material for stringing pearls and many bead stores sell silk cord for this purpose. It’s a tightly twisted silk like pearl cotton and is sized by diameter. Looking on my favorite bead site I found one brand sold on 2-meters cards with numbered sizes. The other brand was sold on 28-meter cards and had letter sizing. If you are trying these silk threads, you’ll just have to experiment with sizes.
I have found a few problems with these threads. First the color selection is small. Second, some brands have steel beading needles integrated into the ends. These will have to come off for embroidery, but the the cut end often untwists.
These threads can be great for the adventurous stitcher to explore, but stay away from threads with the needle attached.
Ready-to-dye Threads – If you want to explore dyeing your own thread, look for natural, white, and RTD (ready-to-dye) threads at companies tht sell dyeing supplies. My favorite in Dharma Trading Company, I saw many stunning yarns there today.
Small hand-dyers – It may take a bit of digging to find these but there are many small makers who dye their own thread and yarn. I often find theese on Etsy by doing searches for “hand-dyed floss, “hand-dyed silk threa,” and “hand-dyed sock yarn.” I look for small packages (10yards or so) of interesting colors.
I also by one-off, mistakes, and samplers to give me a bigger selection. When you use these threads, do not expect them to be replicated or available later. Use them in the quatities you have.
When I find a company that looks good, I mark it as favorite befor I buy, so I can find them again.
Mill Ends – is the name for the end runs of threads and yarns that are too short to be full skeins. The availability of these products depends onn where you live and their selection changes constantly. It’s worth checking out.
Crazy Quilting Sites – these are usually finer threads often using for crazy quilting and hand sewing. One manufacturer of these threads, Aurifil makes many threads that are great for needlepoint.
Sue Spargo is a wonderful quilt maker. Several of her folk-art designs are now adapted for needlepoint by 3K. Sue also makes wonderful threads, especially pearl cotton, in bright solids and multi-colors. Her site is currently down, but look out for these great threads.
Craft shops – Chain craft shops usually carry DMC floss, but often they also carry less expensive craft threads. These threads are not the quality of embroidery flosses and they come in a smaller selection of colors, generally brighter shades and primaries. These threads can give you additional colors and textures.
Go forth, even if it’s just on your computer, and try some new threads!