Make, learn and talk about needle lace.
So, I made a visit to my local craft store today and realized I was completely out of my depth in terms of what thread I wanted to use. I think perhaps I was just overwhelmed with choices and couldn't make up my mind. It got me thinking though...
Is there a thread brand/size that you use as your 'go-to' thread? Something you enjoy because of the color options, or how durable it is? What do you choose and why?
There was no discussion on this already so I figured for people such as myself who are still learning, it would be nice to hear what others have to say about what they enjoy, or subsequently will never use again because they hated it.
Oh, I learned that quite quickly, lol. I love the color but it just doesn't want to hold any sort of form. Fights the knots. As does the polyester thread I also have on hand. I'll just stick to cotton/linen I think. I'm using a DMC 10 in white now. I've just changed the piece from being something I was going to frame to something I'll use on a piece of clothing now is all. No harm done =P I lament the loss of that bright color though.
I just know we are all particular about what exactly we like to use, much like what yarn we enjoy when we crochet. If there were any hidden gems of selections out there that exceed the boundaries of Joann Fabrics and Michaels craft stores, haha.
Teri Dow said:
Hi Leslie, I note that the thread you posted the other day is rayon. I've not used rayon myself but was advised today that it is not that good for Needlelace as its not particularly easy to work with. As for what to use in terms of "go to thread", choose a thickness that you can see well to work with. As a beginner, DMC 80 may be too fine initially so perhaps a thicker thread like Lizbeth thread may be suitable for you. Lizbeth threads are available in sizes 10, 20 and 40. The latter size is a happy medium. This thread has excellent qualities and will not fluff at all. I'd be inclined to try the thread/stitch out on a test piece first, to see if you are happy with the effect.
That web site - HHTatting. - is the site for the makers of Lizbeth threads - Handy Hands. I have not dealt with them, but I use their Lizbeth threads a lot! Love the colours, and it works up well.
I rarely use anything but cotton for needlelace. I usually use a Finca (Presencia) cotton thread for much of my needlelace - as being also a bobbin lace maker, I have lots of it, of various sizes, on hand!! My Gold Panner picture was worked in various sizes of Finca thread.
A tip, if anyone uses Brok. It twists up horribly, and Catherine Barley suggested using it from the other end when you cut off a length to thread the needle, - and that helped - a lot!!
I like cordonnet crochet cotton, both DMC and Lizbeth. Lizbeth has beautiful colors. DMC not so much. Any size that fits with the object I'm making. These threads are just a teeny bit stiff.
Softer, and therefore more flexible is DMC Coton a Broder and Floche. Also the latter in colors.
Mako Aurofil has beautiful quilting cottons in gorgeous colors.
So does Sulky -- cotton quilting threads.
I have not tried rayon, but the slipperiness might make it hard to keep stitch sizes consistent. It would slide around a lot, I imagine.
I have not tried silk, but there are lace makers who like it.
I have also used linen. (I am an inveterate linen lover.) I don't mind the slubs (gives character). But it is usually not as flexible as cotton, not to mention expensive and generally available only on the internet, not in stores that you can walk into.
I don't think there is one right choice. Different threads for different situations. I would avoid cheap threads which might break too easily. I have a thing about polyester--negativity--but that is a sort of ideological rejection. I suppose it would last forever, if you wanted your lace to survive for 500 years!
Who doesn't want their lace to survive for 500 years? =P
I have used a Poly cotton - "Duet", and it was Ok, - but I prefer to stick with cotton.
I used silk once - very shiny little mini-cob - can't think of the brand. I was in a hurry, too, and found it far too slippery. I could not do the fancy stitch I wanted, as the thread would not co-operate. trying to get it done quickly was part of the problem, I think, but I had to revert to an easier stitch! so I have not tried silk again!!
I did a piece in Aurofil,#50 and it looks good - I think I put it up in the pictures section early on - a piece of Gros Point, on a burgundy card with burgundy plaited ribbon as the frame.
Yes 'Wildflower Spray', it is called, - on the last page of my pieces. It worked up quite nicely, and has a bit of a sheen to it.
The most recent - the Gold Panner, was mainly worked with Presencia Finca threads.
I am using Sulky #12 at the moment. It is OK, but a softer twist I think.
That is an interesting site. Some great colours in the cocoons.