Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kreinik Metallic Threads: The Many Faces!! (a tutorial)

While going through my rather enormous stash of Kreinik metallics this morning - looking for something I can't find, of course - I was once again amazed at the variety of sizes, colors, finishes, and uses of this miraculous and wonderful thread. As I've said before, I refused to do anything "'Christmas" for many years, due to the fact that there was nothing to stitch with that would make them sparkle and glitter.

These days, almost everything I do has some kind of Kreinik metallic on it, as it is so very very versatile for embellishments and special effects.

However, watching blog stitchers from time to time, and talking to local stitchers, there seems to be confusion about what weight braid to use on which size canvas. Just the braid itself ranges in size from 4 to 32. (increases in increments of four ) Once again - COMMON SENSE!! If it doesn't fit the canvas properly, try another size. Normally, #16 braid fits 13 mesh canvas beautifully for tent stitches - but is skimpy for upright. #12 braid is for 18 mesh canvas in tent stitches and long, slanted stitches, but won't cover well for upright stitches - so one must simply use #16 braid. (Now that "ribbon" has been invented, I love it for the long, slanted stitches, and also for upright stitches, as it lies so flat on the canvas.)

Upright stitches are like bargello - and remember that we always increase the size of the thread for this, as we used 2 plies of Persian wool long ago on 14 mesh, but increased to all three plies for bargello and other upright stitches.

When I stitched the ornament, the ribbon was a new product, and it gave us a whole new dimension for stitching with metallics - I initially thought the 1/16" would work for 18, and the 1/8" for 13 - but actually, the 1/16" works quite well for both upright and tent stitches on 18 mesh canvas, which gives it a great versatility, as the same spool may be used within one piece instead of having to switch to the braid in same color. It's quite flexible in texture.

Here, the gold is ribbon, but I didn't have it yet in the teal, so used braid - #16, of course - and you can see how much flatter the ribbon lies - Also on the leaves around the center flower. The ribbon also eliminates a lot of the "dandruff" that is a problem (canvas showing through) with upright stitches.

The leaves on the Henry mini-sock were also stitched with #16 braid - pre ribbon - and you can see that they don't lie smoothly. However, at that time, there was no metallic ribbon, so I didn't know the difference!
The diagonal piece was designed and stitched after I started using ribbon, and the leaves - although the braid would have worked on the slanted stitches, are beautiful and flat with the metallic ribbon. This is my favorite green - #015 Chartreuse. Notice also how nice and flat the little mosaic stitches are as leaves for the red flowers - the mosaic stitches are outlined in tent stitches with a darker green #12 braid.

The gold, which works so beautifully with Petite Very Velvet and beads, is the 002V. I used #12 braid for this, as the Smyrna crosses and the tent stitches around the bead strand didn't really require ribbon - nor did the long armed cross stitch border. However, ribbon would have worked if that had been all at hand! More on this later.

The Kreink metallics aren't just about braid - they begin with blending filament and go through many many sizes of braid and ribbon, and also "cord," cable, and Japan thread, which have different looks and uses.

Stay tuned - we also have the new one - the "Holographics," which should be great fun.

ADDENDUM: I swore today that after a long week painting, and another yet to come, I would rest a bit and not think about work or new projects - but couldn't leave this one alone, as it's too fine not to think about! Sooo I got out the box and took pictures and played a bit.

The first photo is the new Kreinik Holographic blending filament - some wild and fun looking stuff!The second one is a few of the colors, illustrating the variety of "finishes" and looks just within one grouping of metallic threads - rather incredible. The arrows are pointing to the braid, and the really shiny stuff is the BF, and the other is 1/16" ribbon.

Normally I only use the #8 braid for surface embellishment, as it's too fine for tent stitching and outlining on 18 mesh canvas. However, I've had some "special effects" and embellishments in the back of my mind for quite some time, and this is what I need to accomplish it. Now I'll have to paint really fast this week and reward myself with some play time. Oh joy!!

1 comment:

LIZ said...

Terrific article! I use tons of Kreinik too. I also like Fyre Werks, especially the Soft Sheens, for Bargello on 18-mesh.