When you know it’s good

Discovering what you have is a major reason to attend a trade show. That is just what happened to me recently; I learned from sewing experts exactly how durable and easy it is to use my sewing and embroidery threads. I knew they were quality threads in gorgeous colors, but this weekend I came away with tips and tricks, plus ideas and inspirations for using the colorful fibers in even more ways that I thought.

Last weekend, while Dena and Julie attended the cross stitch trade show in Nashville, I attended a Professional Machine Embroidery show in Columbus. Many attending this show came with strong feelings about working with metallics on a machine: breakage, shredding, the lack of color selection, and an overall “meanness” of the thread were constant irritants and complaints heard from the professional practitioners as to why they don’t and won’t use metallics.. When your livelihood depends on stitching logos, banners, clothing, blankets and other customized designs for important customers, your thread matters A LOT. It has to look good, but it also has to behave well. Time (and effort) is money for a professional machine embroiderer. My team - two ladies from the Sewing B store in Williamstown, WV, plus myself - attacked the problem with a simple solution: Kreinik machine embroidery and sewing thread.

Most of you are familiar with Kreinik metallic Blending Filament, Braids, Ribbons, real metals, and silk threads that are used in hand embroidery or couched by machine. At this show, we demonstrated and sold another part of our thread selection, Kreinik machine embroidery threads: 1. Silver Metallized Gimp, 2. Fine Twist, 3. Fashion Twist, 4. and a new metallic wrapped thread, all designed for use on long-arm quilt machines, sergers, digitized embroidery machines, home sewing machines, and industrial machines. We feature many videos on www.YouTube.com/Kreinikchannel using these threads, and also have information on our web site www.kreinik.com. The threads are sold in sewing/quilting stores, plus online at www.kreinikmall.com.

Going into the show, I knew I had metallics that were stronger (the metallized gimp and wrapped thread) and prettier (Fine Twist and Fashion Twist) than common metallics sold in sewing stores. At the show, I learned more from the experts, and I want to pass that along to you. Life is too short to deal with frustrations in your creative processes, so here are a few points that may make your machine embroidery life easier.

1. Often when running metallics through the machine there is a problem of shredding and breaking. At the show, we ran on a Janome MB-4, a four-needle professional embroidery machine. I always recommend a 14 or 16 topstitch needle, but Kathy, the operator and demonstrator, had zero problems with an 11 needle. She did not even change her tension when running the metallics. Kathy ran both the twisted and the traditional round metallics at 800 rpm or 800 stitches per minute without a problem. I have personally seen my threads run at 1200 and 1300 rpm on the Tin Lizzie and Tajima machines. When you hear the constant humming chatter with no stoppage from breaks, it is a joy. It was as smooth as silk.

2. There are two different kinds of metallics that give you two different looks. The twisted Kreinik thread is constructed with metallized polyester twisted with either nylon or a polyester fiber. Since what you see is not all metallic, it is possible to create various dimensional effects with high and low areas, creating loft depending upon which threads and which stitches are used. The traditional metallic threads are called gimps and they are constructed by wrapping metallic polyester around a core of nylon, thus adding to its strength. This product reflects light differently from the twisted thread; it is a bolder look, giving a more distinct outline for the design. Blending the twisted and wrapped metallics into a design enables you to play with light and gives your project or product exciting proportions that, for the professional, can also add value.

3. The wrapped threads have two categories: polyester with a laminate of aluminum, and rice paper backed with silver. Both types are very vibrant, and I am proud that the Kreinik selection often wows customers with the large number of color choices (not just the traditional gold, silver, red, green and black). The rice paper backed gimp is also very strong, can run at 1200 rpm, and is laminated with silver then twisted around a nylon core. It gives a very lush, very rich real-metal look, radiating a truly beautiful patina that is quite inspiring.

4. All of these Kreinik machine embroidery threads are washable and dry cleanable, can be ironed or placed in a hot-fix press without damage. Ultimately, the Kreinik machine embroidery and sewing threads are perfect for the design and production environment. All are available in 1000-meter cones (5000-meter cones are special order) in more 30 metallic colors. Look for new 2011 colors in the traditional array of wrapped threads, but with a sophisticated antique flair.

By Doug Kreinik

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Easter Grass

Valentine's Day is in the rear-view mirror and Easter is coming up...a little later this year on April 24, 2011. One of our newest products is called Easter Grass. Just imagine a basket of Easter grass in one continuous strand and then wound on a spool. That's Kreinik's Easter Grass. Just think how much fun it will add to Easter-themed designs.

The thread is 1/8" wide and has an iridescent, mother-of-pearl look that shows a spectrum of colors depending on your viewing angle. This makes it versatile for many applications, besides Easter themes. Imagine laying a strand of Easter Grass on the surface of your fabric or canvas, then making decorative couching stitches such as Herringbone or Ladder Stitch on top with a gold, silver, or other color of Kreinik Metallic Cord - the look will be stunning.

Kreinik Easter Grass can be playful and fun, realistic in mimicking natural elements, or subtle and classy, all depending on your design and how you use it in your needlework and crafts. It can be used in needlework, crochet/knitting (as a carry-along thread), machine embroidery (couch it), jewelry, paper crafts, and more.

What can you do with Easter Grass? Use the iridescence to your advantage in Longstitch, background, and specialty stitches. For instance, use it to mimic...

  • Easter Grass for an Easter project (sorry, that was too easy)
  • Sea Shells
  • Butterfly Wings
  • Windows
  • Bubbles
  • Hummingbirds
  • Insect Wings
  • Shimmering water
  • Iridescent clouds
  • Jewelry
Got any other ideas to share? Post your ideas and comments here, and look for Kreinik's new Easter Grass in needlework stores near you.

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