The World of Threads – Part 2

Natural Fibers and Silk/Wool Blends

 

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16 thoughts on “The World of Threads – Part 2

  1. This month we continue our discussion by talking about the world of threads made from natural fibers. Let’s first discuss what we mean by a natural fiber – for embroidery threads, this is any fiber made by animals or plants that is twisted or spun into a thread. has changed over the last 50-60 years. As we discussed last month, decades ago you could only find threads made from cotton and wool, then silk came into the market. Today there are all kinds of natural fibers being used in embroidery threads.

  2. Next, let’s discuss the various types of threads made from natural fibers. We’ve already addressed cotton, wool, and silk. The most common natural fibers used are: rayon, linen, bamboo, soy, animal hair (alpaca, cashmere, angora, mohair, etc.). Some less common natural fibers used are: flax, jute, hemp, and straw. In addition to these, there are several threads that use a combination of natural fibers – the most common of these is silk/wool blends. Please feel free to add any that I missed by replying here.

  3. I’m sure most of us have used at least one of these types and have some in our stashes.

    Please join the discussion and share, by replying here, the following about threads made from natural fibers and combinations:
    • Look at the threads in your stash – what natural fiber threads or combination threads do you have?

    • I have some rayon threads originally used for Brazilian embroidery. They come in different weights, lovely varigated colors and are shiny. The threads have a Z-twist, so they love to un-twist and need to be twisted as you stitch. They’re much easier to use for boullion stitches since they’re more slick than cotton.

  4. Please join the discussion and share, by replying here, the following about threads made from natural fibers and combinations:
    • What are your favorite thread companies that provide these types of threads?

  5. For our next challenge, related to these types of threads, let’s continue to use any of the 3 wonderful stitch samplers (cross, straight & diagonal) that Marilyn Owen shared at https://www.needlepoint.org/page/HUMs
    If you don’t want to use these, you can use any pattern (to include one already stitched) or just a doodle cloth.

    CHALLENGE: Explore the differences between using a thread made from one of the other natural fibers (bamboo, soy, linen, animal hair, rayon, silk/wool blend, etc.) and the common natural fiber threads (cotton, wool or silk) for the same set of stitches and share your “findings”. Here are some questions to help with your explorations.

  6. CHALLENGE QUESTION #1 – How did the look of cross stitches change between the different natural fiber threads? Did you see a difference between a thread made from wool or silk and a thread made from a silk/wool blend? Did it change the texture? Did it change the appearance?

  7. CHALLENGE QUESTION #2 – How did the look of straight stitches change between the different natural fiber threads? Did you see a difference between a thread made from wool or silk and a thread made from a silk/wool blend? Did it change the texture? Did it change the appearance?

  8. CHALLENGE QUESTION #3 – How did the look of diagonal stitches change between the different natural fiber threads? Did you see a difference between a thread made from wool or silk and a thread made from a silk/wool blend? Did it change the texture? Did it change the appearance?

  9. CHALLENGE QUESTION #4 – Did you use the equivalent number of strands for the different natural fiber threads? If not, did you need more or less to get the effect you wanted?

  10. CHALLENGE QUESTION #5 – Can you give an example of something you’ve stitched previously where you successfully substituted one of the other natural fibers for cotton, wool or silk? Would try that if you stitched it again?

  11. Check back frequently as we continue to explore the other types of threads and discuss challenges to explore them. Please let us know what threads you would like to explore by replying here!

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