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) For embroidery only (not to attach beads/sequins): 

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 embroidery 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.

*Don't make the common mistake of using Diamant to sew on beads/sequins. It is too thick and will make you crazy and/or miserable. Use metallic sewing thread for that, like Coats & Clark. See further down the post.

Copper Diamant thread in action on a Mr. Marley ornament

Where to get it: of course, and Benzie Design is planning to include it as an option in their kits. I have also seen it stocked at some local sewing/craft big box stores, but not all. 

2) For tassels (and in a pinch, for embroidery): 

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. also, of course, and Benzie Design includes Light Effects in their kits.

3) For attaching beads/sequins: 

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. You can find it in the display of sewing thread spools. 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's very easy to thread because the strand is so slender, and has the advantage of adding a tiny bit of sparkle (more sparkle = better). 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 in the sewing thread display, or online at major sewing stores

3) For hanging loops: 

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, if you prefer to use those.

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! 


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

    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?

  2. You mentioned threading thru jump rings. What patterns of yours use jump rings? thank you again!

    1. Hey Jeannie and Eldy, I apologize I think I deleted your other comment about threading Diamant. Remember Diamant is for embroidery so use a number 5 embroidery needle with it and you should be fine.

    2. I don't use jump rings myself typically, but I suggest using them as alternatives to sewing on the hanging loop for all my latest ornament patterns. Also Mr Marley has a metal ring on his head for his hanging loop just because of the way he's made.


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