Sparkles, sparkles, sparkles….who doesn’t love sparkles? They add a little pop to your stitching and the end result can be breathtaking and Christmas stitching lends itself perfectly to using sparkly metallic threads.
This months free gift form the World of Cross Stitching magazine is their Christmas metallic stitching bundle, which is two colours of metallic threads and a booklet of Christmas designs using just these two threads. My little animal design feature in the booklet this year…..
Since we are beginning to think of Christmas stitching (I know some of you have been thinking about this for ages, but I'm not that organized!!!) I thought now might be the perfect time to talk about metallic threads.
Unfortunately, metallic threads aren’t always fun to stitch with, they twist and tangle, shred and break and generally add a bit of stress (along with some colourful words!) to our stitching routine. Here are some tips to hopefully reduce that stress and make life a bit easier to get the perfect result when using metallic threads…
1. Use a slightly shorter length of thread than you would normally stitch with.
2. Use sharp scissors to cut the the lengths of thread…..don’t start with thread that is already beginning to fray!
3. Slow down your stitching…..make sure that the thread lies flat for best results.
4. If you are using two strands of metallic thread, secure the thread on your needle by folding the length of thread in half and thread the needle with the loop end...
...pull the rest of the thread through the loop....
...and pull tight so that the knot is at the eye of the needle.....
(I've used a large crochet needle and six strands of thread for the picture so that it's clearer to see)
5. Metallic threads are a bit stretchy so make sure you secure the threads on the back of your stitching. I tend to leave a longer ‘tail’ and go through more stitches than normal (beginning and ending) to secure the threads so they don’t end up breaking free.
6. Using a slightly larger needle can help prevent the metallic threads form fraying.
7. Let your needle hang every few stitches to unwind, this helps reduce the twisting and tangling that often happens with metallic threads.
8. Using a ‘conditioning’ product helps the thread move more smoothly through the fabric. Thread heaven is the product most stitchers rave about but, unfortunately is no longer being produced (if you can get your hands on this product, you’ve struck gold!) You can find other conditioning types of products in the sewing/ quilting sections of craft stores. I personally don't use them, so I can't give an opinion about them.
9. Use the correct type of metallic thread for your project. There are many different types of metallic threads and they all produce different results. (I’ll be doing another post about the different metallic threads….so watch this space!)
10. Leave the metallic stitching to the end so that there is no risk of damaging the stitched metallic threads.
I hope this might helpful for those of you who have never used metallic threads before. If you have any other tips about metallic threads please do leave a comment....I'd love to know more!
Until next time....happy stitching!