Updated September 23, 2022.
This thread from Rainbow Gallery is a real winner! I just love it. Like many other threads, it’s a combination of metallic and a matte thread. This time it’s metallic combined with Merino wool. The wool is Bella Lusso, a lovely and very smooth Italian wool.
That smoothness is important because it allows the metallic to shine through without the interference of wool “fuzzies.”
The other key to this thread is its construction. Most multi-ply threads, including all other metallic combinations, twist the strands together, making a thread that is more or less loosely combined and that can come untwisted at the ends. This kind of construction is at the root of the problems many of us have with these lovely threads.
Glisten is different; it’s a braid (like Rainbow Gallery’s many braids). This weaves the three strands together into a single unit. It won’t come untwisted because it is difficult for the braid to come undone. The three-strand braid has two strands of wool and one metallic, making it just slightly thicker than 2 strands of crewel wool.
This construction has another consequence; it makes the metallic less obvious than some other combination threads. At a TNNA show, I saw a sample where it was used three ways, including Turkeywork. It created a beautiful effect with the metallic adding subtle highlights.
I tested it as a background on two canvases. It’s outstanding for textured stitches. Wool is so wonderful for so many stitches and the metallic just elevates it above the ordinary. It stayed nicely in the background when used with both metallic and non-metallic threads in the focal point.
The card recommends this thread for needlepoint on 16 or 18 mesh and this is consistent with my test. With two strands of crewel wool, this is a good guide. I do have another test piece to stitch that is on 13-mesh canvas. I’m planning on stitching it with a doubled strand or a Cross Stitch to give good coverage.
One last note. The thread comes on cards with 12 yards, larger than many other of this company’s threads.