Unique or Non-traditional Threads

On the market, we have many unique threads by several companies.  Kreinik, Caron and Rainbow Gallery are examples of companies which have threads that are fuzzy, shiny, leather and wild.  You can also find glow-in-the-dark, garland, flat and round. 


The threads today are much different than the ones we had in the early 1970's.  Take a look at the different threads and find some which are new to you.  Experiment with needle and canvas.  Try different techniques.  Soon, you will find new favorites. 


Some of the threads will be chainettes.  A little explaination on the construction and handling of this thread is as follows.  It is constructed by making a loop and then another loop is inserted in the first, another loop in the last one and so on. (For those of you who crochet, this is the same as crocheted chain.) To work with a chainette, you need to remember, the chain can become unraveled with a quick tug. Fray Check or clear fingernail polish on the ends will help prevent unraveling.   Also, use a larger needle than required. Some people break the length they want off the card and insert into the needle. Chainettes are oval in shape. Because this is true, when you stitch, use a laying tool to lay the thread flat on the canvas.

The Threads

24 Karats: This chainette is a sparkly thread which is great for evening wear, water, hi-lights, jewels or holiday decorations.   Like all other chainettes, Fray Check or clear fingernail polish on the ends will help prevent unraveling when you stitch.   Also, use a larger needle than required.  When you stitch, use a laying tool to lay the thread flat on the canvas. Twenty Four Karats is created by the Rainbow Gallery Company.

     Uses: Water, evening clothes, hi-lights, jewels, bugs and ornaments

Alabaster: This chainette, by Rainbow Gallery, is easy to work with. Use as hi-lights on snow, ice or other frosty and cold items. Because the chain is fine, the color of the canvas might show through. Use this quality to your benefit. If you work a sampler on colored canvas, the decorative stitch worked in Alabaster will become part of the motif. Also, a snowman worked with this thread on light icy blue canvas will have a cold feeling.  

     Uses: Ice, snowman, snow, mountain tops, clouds and evening clothes

Artic Rays: This fuzzy chainette will give any snowman a freezing cold day. Think of using Artic Rays for metal objects. Hi-light a diamond ring, parts of an evening dress, outline areas on a snowman are all areas in which Artic Rays can be incorporated. After the object has been stitched, you may want to give the thread a light brushing to release the pile on the thread. The construction is a chainette. Follow the above directions for working with this kind of thread. This thread is by Rainbow Gallery.

     Uses: Snowmen, diamonds, jewelry, evening clothes, bugs, butterflies and icy objects

Candlelight: This shiny thread, by Caron, is perfect for decorative stitches, ornaments and jewels. When you look at Candlelight, you may be tempted into dividing the plies. Do not do so. The thread will not go back together again. To sew, you can use it as-is or combine a multi-strand in the needle. Candlelight can fit many sizes of canvases and is also great for decorative stitches. The thread may become unraveled. Use Fray Check on the ends before stitching. Also use up and down stabbing motions when sewing.

     Uses: Jewels, clothes, decorations, bugs, embroidery and decorative stitches

Cresta d’ Oro: This is another chainette by Rainbow Gallery which comes in 10 colors. This thread fits 12 to 18 mesh canvas.

     Uses: Jewels, bugs, fancy clothes, birds and ornaments

Crystal Braid: This fine braid has a sparkly wet look. Do not be fooled by its appearance, Crystal Braid will add shimmer to water, icy things, jewels and stars in the night. Rainbow Gallery has 3 golds and 7 pastel colors in their line. It is sturdy and easy to stitch and will not unravel easily. Try pairing up with other threads or over stitching. Each technique will give you interesting effects.

     Uses: Clothes, icy things, jewels, metals, dew, bugs and details

Estaz: This garland thread should be either sewn into long stitches or couched. The Madeira Thread Company manufactures this thread.

     Uses: Ornaments, clothes, bugs, borders and samplers

Facets: This unique “thread” by Kreinik should be couched on the canvas. Facets are created by a series of loops which resemble a colored chain or string of beads.   Do not try to pass this thread through the canvas holes. Couch the threads with matching color thread.   Facets come in 2 sizes, regular or petite.

     Uses: String of beads, jewelry, ocean waves, samplers, borders and bugs

Fancy Fur: When you look at Fancy Fur, think of boa feathers, evening wear and African Cranes. Rainbow Gallery offers 15 colors which range from black and white to bright colors.  The shine in the thread is medium bright which is not over powering. Use long stitches and when finished, give Fancy Fur a quick brush. This will help the thread fibers to stand out. Rainbow Gallery recommends that you come up in a used hole and back down in an empty one.    

     Uses: Animals, birds, evening clothes, fur and ornaments

Faux Fur: Faux Fur is a soft twisted thread which has an artificial appearance. This thread has a very slight twist which makes stitching a little challenge. Sew with shorter lengths and use stab methods. Up and down like a sewing machine is best. Also, use a larger needle than what the canvas requires. Rainbow Gallery recommends that you do not drag the thread on top of the canvas and pair it up with another thread for strength.  For a fuzzy effect, give the thread a slight brushing when you have finished stitching.

     Uses: Fur collars on coats or evening wear, Eskimo clothes, ornaments and decorations

Flair:   This is a tubular ribbon, or knitted tube, which has a transparent effect. If you are working on a painted or colored canvas, the hew shows through the thread. Use this to your advantage. If the area is painted, let’s say in red, you can use F603 Goldenrod and get an orange-red area. For an interesting effect, start a length of floss on your canvas. Now, run the floss through the middle of Flair and scrunch the tube together to make a bundle. Return the floss back under the canvas and tie off. You can create wild hair, animals, “flowers”, rocks and other 3D items on your canvas. Be creative and run other threads through the tube and see what you can come up with. To get the full benefit of this thread, use long stitches and not Continental. The thread will be at its best. The ribbon/tube will stretch so do not pull overly tight when working. Also, it will unravel. Use clear fingernail polish or Fray Check on the ends to prevent unraveling. Use a laying tool with working with Flair. Rainbow Gallery makes Flair.

     Uses: Wild hair, animals, birds, fish, flowers, clothes, foliage and wet things

Frosty Rays: This thread is a combination of Flair and Tiara. The metallic thread runs through the tube giving it a shiny sparkle. Stitch the thread as is to give glitter and glam to your project. To create 3D effects, pull the Tiara on one end and push to the tube into the middle of metallic thread. Repeat on the other end. Now, attach the ends to the underside leaving the tube in a scrunch on the top of your canvas. If you are stitching Frosty Rays as-is, use clear fingernail polish or Fray check to prevent unraveling. Also, use a laying tool especially if you are working long stitches. This thread is by Rainbow Gallery.

     Uses: Tropical fish, hair, silly animals, birds, ornaments and samplers

Fuzzy Stuff: This is similar to Fancy Fur but this thread has more sparkle. Use like Fancy Fur. Fuzzy Stuff is by Rainbow Gallery.

     Uses: Evening clothes, ornaments, wild hair, animals and birds

Fyre Werks Hologram:   This thread is just like Fyre Werks but with a Hologram shine and depth. Fyre Werks Hologram is slightly heavier than Fyre Werks which means the stitches may be a little packed on the canvas. Because of the shine, you should use longer stitches and not Continental or Half Cross. The sparkle can be intense and should not be used to an excess. Use Hologram when you would like to stitch ice cubes and snow. To stitch, use a shorter length of thread. When working, you may find the ends tend to fray. Fray Check on the ends will stop problem.  Fyre Werks hologram should be laid with a tool.  This thread is by Rainbow Gallery.    

     Uses: Fire, Ice, cold items and ornaments      

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