Which came first: Filament or Braid?

Stitcher Roberta recently asked us about the story behind the development of Blending Filament. "Did they come first, or did the Braids?" she asked, and "Were they meant to be used with other threads or as 'stand alone' fibers?"

Great questions, Roberta! Actually, the filaments and Braids came out at the same time. The filament was meant to be used as a blending thread, to add subtle highlights to whatever cotton or wool you use. The Braids were designed to be used as "stand alone" fibers, and were developed to be in different sizes to match (or provide perfect coverage) on common needlepoint and cross stitch fabrics or to be used in surface embroidery. Here's more detail on where Kreinik metallic threads come from, courtesy of Doug Kreinik:

In 1979, my parents, Jerry and Estelle Kreinik, loved visiting museums.  My dad spotted a 17th century sampler featuring gold work combined with silk threads and came up with an idea.  In the early 1950s, my dad worked for Naval Research.  He helped establish sizes used today for woman's clothing (during WWII it was mainly  a generic categorization of small, medium and large), invented the D ring and even created rain cap covering for officers' hats.  He also came up with the idea of using plastic metallic coated filaments to create military regalia for uniforms (the idea was nixed by the Navy at the time).  Go forward almost 30 years. He felt that the material he had seen when working for the Navy could be used for embroidery to take the place of real metal threads, which were expensive, hard to find, and could tarnish easily.

Kreinik Blending Filaments and Braids, first known as Balger (because my parents liked French sounding words) came about at the same time. My parents realized that there was a use for the filaments to give a bit of light to a blended thread, and the same material could be made into a braid to used as a separate thread or yarn. In the beginning they had Blending Filament,  #8, #16 and #32 Braids in seven colors. At the time, my mom felt that seven colors would probably be enough shades as a product line. Today there are 14+ sizes/weights and 220+ colors in the Kreinik metallic thread line.

When they began, they had a manufacturer make the Braids for them.  After a while, my dad, who loved machinery, began purchasing his own equipment.  Today we have many machines that run and run and run. We make all of our flat and round braids at our factory in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
For more information about Kreinik Manufacturing, visit www.kreinik.com and connect with us on www.Facebook.com/Kreinik.Manufacturing.Company

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