The background of this dede coin was stitched with one strand of Valdani crewel wool. As is the case with many Valdani threads, the 100% virgin wool thread from Australia is hand-dyed.
The skeins are 10 meters long (about 11 yards) and come in 2 sizes. Size 8 (the thicker size) is about the size of other crewel wools used for needlepoint. Size 15, or Fine, is about half that diameter. Both are two-ply single-strand threads.
There are more than 70 colors as well as different packs of three or more colors available on the company’s site.
The size of the thread is very important because this thread is hand-dyed. That means even the “solid” colors are likely to have some variation in color. Indeed all three colors I tested had variation, although sometimes it was very subtle.
This variation can pose problems in your needlepoint. First, it will be hard to find two strands that match exactly unless you open up an entire skein and cut selectively. For many of us, the difficulty of doing this outweighs the advantage of matching multi-strand threads. When using this thread you should take this into account when picking stitches. Here I used T Stitch and a single strand. Other outstanding uses for it would be Blackwork and Pattern Darning. I could also see it easily used plied up for areas such as tree trunks where consistency in tone is not critical.
I found the thread to be smoother than Appleton, for example, but not as smooth as strandable Merino. While soft and a bit fuzzy, it created nicely defined stitches.
As you can see from this picture the wool comes in small skeins wrapped tightly in the center. This packaging is my main difficulty with the thread. In most threads that are packaged this way, a loose end can be found inside on of the looped ends. Pull that end and you can cut stitching lengths without unwrapping the ends.
No such luck here. I could not find loose ends on any skein I examined. This meant that to use the thread I had to pull off the label and find the end. Once found I could unwrap the amount of thread I needed. Because the skein is only 5″ long, you cannot just cut one end as you would with pearl cotton.
If you will be using Valdani crewel wool keep zipper bags handy to hold the thread once taken out of its skein.
Overall I found this to be an excellent crewel wool and well worth using in spite of the small difficulties.