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Metallic Thread Embroidery
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Metallic Thread Embroidery

Working with metallic threads can sometimes be a little frustrating as they can have a mind of their own. Below you will find some tips and hints to make the whole process trouble free.

Working with Metallic Threads and Blending Filaments

Metallic threads (or floss) and blending filaments can be used to create some wonderful effects, especially with so many colours and textures available now days. You can vary the amount of shine by increasing or decreasing the number of strands used.

When using metallic threads, you should take care to stitch slowly and attentively. You should use the 'stab' method rather than the 'hand sewing' method, working the stitches in two movements - up vertically and then down vertically through the fabric. Let your needle hang after every few stitches to allow the thread to untwist itself .

You should use fairly short lengths of cotton thread. As a guide, no more than 18 inches (45 cm) of thread at a time should be used. Keeping the thread lengths short will help to avoid excessive rubbing or abrasion when pulling the thread through the fabric. Double the thread about 2 inches (5 cm) at one end and insert the loop through the eye of the needle. Note that you should use a needle large enough to open a hole in the fabric enough to allow the thread to go through easily. Pull the loop over the point of the needle and gently pull the loop towards the end of the eye to secure the thread to the needle.

If you are combining blending filament and stranded cotton, you should thread the stranded cotton through the eye in the usual way, and clip it to match the length of the blending filament. To thread metallic threads and blending filaments, fold the thread about 2 inches (5cm) from one end and insert the loop through the eye of the cross stitch needle leaving a short tail. Pull the loop over the needle's point and tighten at the end of the eye to secure it. Stroke the knot thread to secure in place.

To thread metallic braids and ribbons, you will need to place a small strip of folded paper through the eye of the needle, then open out the ends of the paper and insert the thread between them. Next, gently pull the paper through so the cross stitch thread is brought through with it.

Metallic threads add to your cross stitch designs and can really enhance the end result, giving your project that professional look.


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