Thursday, October 15, 2020

the skinny on metallic thread and flosses

I specify several different kinds of metallic thread/flosses in my Christmas ornament patterns. Because of their shiny wrapping, metallic threads can be more of a challenge to work with, but they are so worth it. This post will show you why I use so many different kinds and what they do best! 

1) DMC DIAMANT and DIAMANT GRANDE


This lovely metallic embroidery thread was a recent discovery for me. I had been using the six-strand DMC Light Effects for embroidery and stripping it like I do the DMC six-strand cotton flosses, which was a bit difficult/frustrating. I much prefer the Diamant because:

  • It's a single twisted strand (no stripping required)
  • Easier to thread in your needle
  • Doesn't bunch or tangle as much  

I use it in place of six-strand floss for any metallic decorative embroidery. To sub Diamant for the six-strand cotton flosses in my instructions, ignore the number of strands I have specified. Substitute a double strand of Diamant or a single strand of Diamant Grande. That formula should work well most of the time. If you want an especially thick looking metallic embroidery, try a double strand of the Diamant Grande.

Copper Diamant thread in action on a Mr. Marley ornament

Where to get it: DMC.com of course, and Benzie Design is planning to include it as an option in their kits. I haven't had any luck finding it locally in the store, but you might!


2) DMC LIGHT EFFECTS

Light Effects is the metallic/shiny polyester equivalent to DMC's six-strand cotton flosses. I have found them a bit challenging to embroider with, but they are certainly lovely looking. If you do use them for embroidery, try using shorter lengths, like twelve inches or less. Once cut, the strands spring apart, which makes it challenging to thread several strands at once. I ended up just threading them in stages.

I use it to make tiny metallic tassels, like the ones on Mr. Scrooge's night cap or Mr. Marley's boots. When doubled, it's the perfect tassel thickness and so pretty and shiny. I do not use it for embroidery now that I have Diamant, but you certainly can! Just strip the same number of strands specified in my instructions, use short lengths, and take your time.

The tassels and metallic embroidery shown above are Light Effects

Where to get it: I have no problem finding a range of these flosses at my local sewing/craft stores. DMC.com also, of course, and Benzie Design includes Light Effects in their kits.



I'm not married to this particular brand of metallic thread, it's just the one that is readily available at my local sewing/craft store and is the only one I've used so far. Any brand of metallic sewing thread should be fine, and this Sulky one looks nice too. Maybe I should try it.

I use it to sew on beads and sequins. It has the advantage of adding a tiny bit more sparkle (more sparkle = better) and there's no need to worry about matching the color of the thread to your beads and sequins, which is especially nice when you are using a lot of different colors. It can be more temperamental to work with than non-metallic sewing threads. A good bit more snarly and twisty, so use short lengths.

The sequins and beads on this Mrs. Claus are sewn on with silver sewing thread.

Where to get it: I have no problem finding a range of these at my local sewing/craft stores or online at major sewing stores


3) DMC METALLIC PEARL COTTON

Pardon this untidy shot of my metallic pearl spaghetti instead of the neat twisted skeins they were when purchased. #studiolife. You might be saying, what can she possibly need yet another metallic floss for? Well, I'll tell ya:

I use it to make the hanging loops for all my ornaments. This nicely twisted pearl floss just makes a better looking loop. It's also much easier to knot around itself because it doesn't disintegrate into unmanageable separate strands like Light Effects does. Which also makes it easier to thread through jump rings.

The hanging loops on most all of my ornaments are made with Metallic Pearl Cotton

Where to get it: I have no problem finding both silver and gold pearl floss at my local sewing/craft stores or online at major sewing stores. Benzie also includes this in their kits! 

And that's the lowdown on the metallic threads I use. I hope this was helpful! 

2 comments:

  1. Now to try Diamond thread instead of the awful Kreinik!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was not familiar at all with Kreinik but I also just heard from someone who recommended it over Diamant. Do you find the Kreinik hard to work with?

      Delete

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