We get these questions a lot. “Where can I find Balger?” (Pronounced Ball-Zhay) “Which Balger do I need to order?” Here is the Official Story behind that strange word associated with Kreinik threads.
“My parents liked French words, so they made it up,” says Doug Kreinik, referring to the early days (40 years ago) of Kreinik Manufacturing Company, when Jerry and Estelle Kreinik began importing and then making threads in their Parkersburg, WV home. “At the time, we were selling a French silk, so my parents thought it would be good to have a French name for the metallics.”
Unfortunately, it just confused people. “As we were going on,” Doug recounts, “people wanted to meet Mr. Balger. People were looking for Mr. Balger in Parkersburg.” In the early 1980s, a consultant brought in to help the home-based business grow into a thread factory suggested putting everything under the actual family name. As the thread sizes evolved, individual names for the threads became the standard, such as Very Fine #4 Braid and Tapestry #12 Braid, all under the Kreinik name.
So, short story even shorter, Balger is Kreinik circa 1970s. In fact, if a design or teacher refers to Kreinik as “Balger,” we can usually tell the age. Today, Kreinik is technically Balger, we just don't use that name as much anymore. If you come across a chart calling for “Balger”, it probably means Kreinik Blending Filament or Kreinik Fine #8 Braid, which were the only two metallics we made back then.
Whether “Kreinik” is easier to say than “Balger” is another question - we get many pronunciations. “Cry-neek” or “Krennick” are popular. Doug teaches people to think of it as “sad santa,” as in “Cry Nick.” Whatever you call us, we’ll answer. Thanks for buying and creating with Kreinik threads the past 40 years. We are looking forward to many more years to come…