How to stitch with Kreinik Braids

Needlepoint canvas by Danji Designs
The problem was obvious: needlework was boring. We are flashing back here to 1971, when Jerry and Estelle Kreinik drove around the U.S. selling Estelle's revolutionary needlework project holder (the first one on the market). Needlepoint was popular, but stitched only in wool. Cross stitch was up and coming, but stitched only in cotton. That was pretty much IT, all that was available at the time. Very limited, a little undifferentiated, and not at all up to its potential.

With their backgrounds in textiles, Jerry and Estelle knew that needlework, from the dawn of embroidery, was so much more. Historically, embroiderers used silk threads and real metals too, for instance. Long story short, the Kreiniks set out to make these interesting threads available and affordable for stitchers everywhere. First up: importing silk threads. The next task: creating a less expensive but still beautiful, rich-looking, and easy-to-use version of real metal threads. "Braids" were born.

In your year of becoming a Kreinik thread expert, exploring "Kreinik: A To Z," the most significant subject is probably this: Braids. Here's what you need to know, which will enhance and enrich your needlework projects to infinity and beyond.

B is for Braids

WHAT ARE THEY?
The Kreiniks used the name Braid for their synthetic (as opposed to nature-made) metallic thread basically because that's how the thread is made: raw fiber tightly braided together by machine to become one unit. It's our fancy way of saying "thread." So don't think of it as stitching with a woven band or trim. A Kreinik Braid is simply metallic thread meant to be used as is, straight off the reel, not as two strands, not separated. The purpose is to add the beautiful shimmer of a real metal thread, but in a fiber that is easier to use, less expensive, washable, and more readily available.

HOW DO THEY COME?
Jerry and Estelle created Braids of different sizes so that you could have a metallic thread to fit on any size fabric, canvas, or any medium actually. To differentiate the sizes, each has a number in its name, In our line, the smaller the number, the smaller the thread size. So, from thinnest to thickest, you have the choice of Very Fine #4 Braid, Fine #8 Braid, Tapestry #12 Braid, Medium #16 Braid, Canvas #24 Braid, and Heavy #32 Braid. Select the size according to what size fabric you are using or which stitch you are using (i.e., thicker threads for surface embroidery, or thinner threads for backstitching an outline.

HOW TO PICK YOUR BRAID SIZE:
For cross stitch, use Fine #8 Braid on 14-count Aida, or if stitching over two threads on 28-count linen. Use Very Fine #4 Braid on 16- or 18-count Aida, or over two on 36-count linen. For needlepoint, use Fine #8 Braid for lighter coverage on 18-mesh, or Tapestry #12 Braid for fuller coverage on 18 mesh. Check the helpful Selection Chart on our website for more match-ups.

Our newest color 016L Olive Moss with Danji Designs Needlepoint Canvas
HOW MANY COLORS ARE AVAILABLE?
A lot! We love playing with colors. Sometimes we combine colors to come up with variegated Braid colors. Designers often ask us to create colors for their lines. Sometimes colors are influenced by home decor and fashion. So we have a lot for your fiber coloring box, usually 250+ colors in each Braid size. There's a color for every project, mood, and dream. (Feel free to email us with your color requests too: info@kreinik.com.)

WHERE CAN YOU GET THEM?
Kreinik Braids are sold in indie needlework shops (independent shops, not usually chain stores) and online sources. These shops share your passion for needle arts. See if you can find one in your area; it will be your candy store. If not, check out online shops. Let us know if you ever have problems finding Kreinik threads.

Have you tried Kreinik Braids? Get one of each size and experiment, play, test and try them in your cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, quilting, tatting, crochet, and more. Become a part of Jerry and Estelle's vision of using fun, beautiful metallic threads to make your designs visually interesting, dimensional, and as exciting as life itself. Braids are simply a wonderful fiber tool for self-expression.

Kreinik Thread Expert, Level 2! Learn more here:

Thread Selection Chart
How to use Kreinik Braids
Kreinik Metallic Color Chart
Video about Kreinik Braids
Free project ideas

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