Who stitches with ribbons?

In your year of becoming a Kreinik thread expert, we've been studying Kreinik A To Z. This week's
lesson is: R Is For Ribbons. They may not be as well known as Kreinik Braids, but Kreinik's metallic ribbons are staples to many needle artists and growing in popularity among younger stitchers. Why; who stitches with ribbons? Let's find out.

Embroidery

A few decades ago, ribbon embroidery on denim was hot. Kreinik and Leisure Arts published a "how to use metallic ribbon in embroidery" booklet that was popular. Fast forward to today, and embroidery on clothing is back, albeit in an updated style and on different fabrics. Embroidered costumes—like the ones by Michele Carragher in Game of Thrones—are in demand. The more embroidery in general grows in popularity, the more stitchers seek out a variety of threads to make their designs dimensional and interesting. Kreinik 1/4" Ribbon, for instance, was created by request from Japanese embroiderers who wanted a wider size. It is now used in general embroidery for specialty stitches like woven spider web roses and other flower stitches. 

Kreinik metallic ribbons are soft, lovely, and ideal for ribbon embroidery stitches.

Needlepoint 

Use Kreinik 1/16" Ribbon in tent stitch on 18-count needlepoint canvasThe draw of stitching with a ribbon is the flat texture. When used in needlepoint, a metallic ribbon gives you maximum light reflection. Needlepointers have found that Kreinik 1/16" Ribbon gives great coverage in tent stitch on 18-mesh canvas, while Kreinik 1/8" Ribbon is good on larger mesh. Couching techniques use the wider 1/8" Ribbon for layered stitches. The way we make the ribbons—a woven braid, if you will—means they are flexible and move easily into any specialty stitch. 

Plastic Canvas

The flat ribbons have been used to stitch plastic canvas projects for years because they cover so beautifully and give a smooth look. Young stitchers are picking up this medium as an alternative to cross stitch fabric, and finding the need for fibers that cover the edges.  Both 1/8" Ribbon and 1/4" Ribbon work perfectly on plastic canvas.

Cross Stitch

Yes, you can cross stitch with a flat ribbon like 1/16" or 1/8" Ribbon, even on the traditional 14-count Aida (just use a larger needle). It makes an interesting border when worked in giant "X" formation. Also, as people are looking for more unusual items to stitch on, such as screens, pegboard, chairs, etc, the larger size such as 1/4" Ribbon covers nicely. The pop of color from the metallic, and the flat surface from the ribbon combines to make a stand-out design or stand out area in a cross stitch design.

Add a stitch of flat Kreinik ribbon in cross stitch for dimension

Fiber Art

As people expand their creative passions into felting, sculpture, weaving, machine embroidery, and other fiber arts, they are mixing materials to make things more interesting. There are no rules to this kind of creativity, which is exciting. They depend on a variety of textures, finding flat ribbons to be ideal companions to round yarns, stiff real metals, round hardware parts and such. It all works together to make any fiber art more dimensional. 

Use Kreinik 1/16" and 1/8" Ribbon for bodies and wings in fly tying and fly fishingFly Fishing

If you're mate's a fly fishing fan, you may have noticed them stealing some of your metallic threads for their lures. Fish love the sparkly stuff. The ribbons are used for wrapping, bodies, and wings. Shred the ends a bit to make the thread ravel (use this technique in needlework too, for interesting stitches and fuzzy texture). 

Wrap colorful Kreinik 1/4" Ribbon on your suitcase handle for an easy identifierAnd more

There are so many other uses for flat metallic ribbons, the options are truly endless. They are great in tassels, as bookmarks, as decorations in hair styles, wrapped around bouquets, luggage identifiers, and ornament hangers. The sparkle adds elegance when anywhere. They offer color, shine, a flat texture, and a 3-D touch. 

Try ribbons for your next creation, or keep some on hand for decorating emergencies. For more information:



Use Kreinik metallic ribbons in needlework and fiber art designs

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Needlework shops in Houston

As with many of you, we have been thinking and worrying about our friends and family in Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas since Hurricane Harvey began late last week. Our hopes, prayers and wishes, like yours, are for everyone to be safe, and for relief from the floodwaters to come quickly. 

The needlework industry is one big family. Stitchers, shops, designers, and teachers in the devastated area, reach out to us and your needlework friends. Our hearts break for your beautiful city, its people and pets. "It absolutely is worse than it seems," says stitcher Tara on Kreinik's Facebook page. 

We have seen many Facebook enquiries about the status of needlework shops, whether they are ok, and open. Thank you to the stitchers who have posted updates. Judy's Stitchery Nook in Harlingen was spared the worst. Chaparral plans on opening Wednesday August 30. ABC Stitch Therapy seems to be fine, but they can't get in yet (as of August 29). Past Times Needlepoint is heavily damaged. While we haven't heard from all shops, we encourage you to contact each store before venturing out—and of course don't venture out unless it is safe to do so (and keep in mind there are many road closures). These include: 

As of this posting, JoAnn's (fabric and craft stores) have notified us that the following are temporarily closed due to Hurricane Harvey:
  • 1032 - CORPUS CHRISTI, TX
  • 1102 - BEAUMONT, TX
  • 1268 - BRYAN, TX
  • 1283 - HUMBLE, TX
  • 1402 - HOUSTON, TX
  • 1418 - HOUSTON, TX
  • 1433 - HOUSTON, TX
  • 2152 - WEBSTER, TX
  • 2206 - SUGAR LAND, TX
  • 2226 - KATY, TX
  • 2292 - SPRING, TX
  • 2387 - NEW BRAUNFELS, TX
  • 2415 - HOUSTON, TX

Needlework designers

For all of our designer and teacher friends in the areas, you are in our thoughts and hearts. Check in when you are able. Kreinik will be a vendor at the upcoming Destination Dallas needlepoint market (wholesale only). We hope to see you—and hug you!—there.

Post updated 10 p.m. August 29, 2017

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How do you iron metallic threads?

Use a press cloth when ironing Kreinik metallic threadsYou finished your cross stitch or embroidery project and it looks fabulous! Except for the ring indentations left by the embroidery hoop, or creases still visible from the folded fabric. Now what? 

We want our needlework to look absolutely stunning, right? When all is stitched and done, how you treat your stitching will make a difference in how long it lasts and how good it looks. So this is an important step in any cross stitch or embroidery project. Let's take a look at the potential problems that can happen when you finish stitching, and solve one of the most frequently asked questions: how do you iron metallic threads? 

Step 1: Washing metallic threads

Kreinik metallic threads are hand and machine washableWe hope you've kept your hands clean as you stitched, and away from dust, spills and similar. Barring any spot clean-up you may have to do, you may want to wash that project any way. Unseen oil on skin, for instance, will show up in the fabric over time. The good news about your favorite metallic threads: you can hand and machine wash Kreinik metallic Braids and Ribbons. Hang to dry or tumble dry on low. 

The potential problem in washing: bleeding colors. There are some colors like red that are notoriously not colorfast. In the Kreinik thread line, colors 003L and 006HL may bleed. Stitch a test swatch and check colors in water (that applies to cotton floss too) just to make sure. 

Step 2: Ironing metallic threads

Yes, you can iron Kreinik metallic threads, BUT use a press cloth. Do not place the hot iron directly onto the metallic, as the thread will melt or shrink. Most metallic threads are synthetic, made of polyester and/or nylon, and they don't like high heat. 

What is a press cloth? 
  • a piece of muslin, cotton, or similar uncolored fabric
  • a sheet of nonstick press cloth (Kreinik carries this here)

Kreinik carries a press cloth for use with their metallic threadsPlace your needlework on the ironing surface, cover it with the press cloth, then press with your iron (large home iron or craft size iron). Reposition the cloth as needed to press your project. Do not use steam on the metallic area.

If using fabric as your press cloth, wash it first to remove any sizing, and make sure it is white, not colored. If needed and desired, dampen the fabric slightly instead of using the steam setting on your iron. The benefit of a nonstick press cloth over fabric: it will last longer and be easier to clean. Also, it's ideal for ironing other items like fusible appliques, interfacing, hem tape, etc as it will keep the adhesive from gumming up your iron.

Side note: should you place your needlework face down on your ironing surface, or face up? Basic cross stitch designs can be ironed face up (with your press cloth on top). If using dimensional stitches like French knots, however, put your needlework face down onto a towel or padded surface, cover with your press cloth (metallics are on the back of your work, too!), and press; this will keep your iron from flattening the stitches.

Get a press cloth and keep it with your cross stitch and embroidery supplies. You will always be ready to finish your beautiful project the safe way, to keep it looking fabulous for years to come. This go-betweener will protect your embroidery and threads—regardless of their content—from potential damage from an iron. 

How to store needlework the safest way possible

For more information:


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3 embroidery scissors you shouldn't live without

We have 45 years of experience with scissors here at Kreinik. We cut a lot of thread daily. Just like you, we lament when our scissors go missing, complain about dull cheap scissors, and we collect them. When it comes to cutting thread, fabric, paper or anything, the right scissor makes the job better and easier. Everyone deserves better, easier, and happier stitching. 

Early in the company, Jerry and Estelle Kreinik sold their favorite scissors alongside their metallic threads. They carried several brands over the years, more recently with Doug Kreinik bringing in the Premax line. Why this line? Well, we do love all things Italian (they are made in Premana, Northern Italy), but they are also just really really good scissors. Like, really good quality. 

We carry scissors that are most beneficial to needleworkers—needlepoint, cross stitch, knitting, crochet, weaving, quilting—and fiber artists. You can see the full range here. Among these, three stand out as if-you've-never-seen-these-you-are-going-to-love-them scissors. They are consistently the most asked-for and highest rated among needlework shops and stitchers. So check out our top three scissors you shouldn't live without:

Ring-lock Embroidery Scissors

That round circle does more than resemble a cute little bird's eye; it means that the scissors won't get loose like scissors with a screw. So technically yes, they are superior scissors, but they are also charming and unlike any other scissor out there. A sort of wavy svelte profile offering a lifetime of cutting greatness—yes, please!

10 tips to know about Premax Ring-Lock 

  1. Modern look
  2. Mirror-polished stainless steel
  3. Made in Premana, Italy
  4. Very sharp
  5. The patented "ring lock" replaces the screw, "guaranteeing smoother, more accurate cutting and longer life expectancy for the blade" (from Premax)
  6. Comes in 3 3/4" size with a short blade (Kreinik X301)
  7. Or choose 3 3/4" size available with a short, curved blade (Kreinik X302C and X304C)
  8. Or get 4 1/4" size with a longer blade (Kreinik X401, X402)
  9. Available with serrated blades* (Kreinik X401S, X402S, X301S, X302CS, X304CS)
  10. Will elicit "Where did you get these?" from your stitching friends

Double Curved Scissors

The benefit of a curved blade is simple but huge: it gets you in tight or angled places. Double curved (the blade is curved, the handle is curved) means it just helps you maneuver into your cutting spot that much more. If you've encountered an odd angle and need to cut, these are the scissors for you. They work for all kinds of stitch techniques: 
  • If you do machine sewing, a double curved scissor will help you cut close to the foot
  • If you do quilt applique, they help you get closer to your edge
  • If you do needlepoint, use them for cutting the loops in turkey work or cutting around 3-D and embellished areas
  • For Hardanger and other cutwork, they will help you cut closer and ease those odd angles
  • If you cross stitch, they make it easier to cut threads inside an embroidery hoop

5 facts about the Premax double-curved scissors

  1. Shiny; made of carbon steel, nickel plated
  2. Made in the Premana region of Northern Italy
  3. Available in large 6" size with longer blades (Kreinik X621C)
  4. Available in "embroidery" size 4 1/4" with very sharp short blades (Kreinik X423C)
  5. Also available with serrated blades (Kreinik X423CS)


Purple Haze Embroidery Scissors

This is a sharp little work-horse scissor that will meet all of your cutting needs as you sit and stitch at home or in class. The best part, however: purple handles! The regal color is as pretty as a flower and just lifts your mood. It's a classic color that will never go out of style.

6 highlights of this Premax beauty

  1. 3 1/2" very sharp scissor
  2. Handles are double coated to permit the decorative pattern, but that makes them feel soft and smooth
  3. Nickel plated carbon steel
  4. Made in Premana, Italy
  5. Available with serrated (Kreinik X308S) or non-serrated blades (X308)
  6. Will definitely cause envy in all of your friends (makes a nice gift for your closest pals)


* About serrated blades
Some recommend that you use a serrated blade for cutting metallic threads. This blade, as opposed to knife-edge, has "teeth" that hold the thread in place as you cut. Serrated blades are often used in sewing for cutting slippery fabrics; the "teeth" help grip the material during the cut. Serrated scissors from Kreinik/Premax will have an S in the item number.


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The surprising way sequins elevate your stitchery

If you're idea of sequins is more "Las Vegas" than "History Museum," we want to introduce you to Paillettes. These real-metal orbs will add elegance, classy detail, and a touch of history to your needlework designs. Far from flashy, these embellishments are about as sophisticated as you can get. Even better: they aren't expensive, and they are easy to use (easier than beads! they don't roll around!). Let's talk about paillettes, part of the Kreinik embellishment line since the 1980s.



What are these magical orbs?

Paillettes are like gold or silver sequins, but the opposite of plastic versions you're seeing in pop culture right now, such as mermaid-style pillows, glitzy wardrobes, and gypsy inspired makeup. Paillettes (pronounced "pie yetts") like these are:
  • made of real gold and real silver
  • firm, strong rather than bendable
  • flat (not cupped or bowl-like shaped)
  • found in history museums on samplers, couture fashions, textiles of the nobility and more
  • used by needleworkers today in samplers, needlepoint, stumpwork, crazy quilting, embroidery, and costume design

Why use real metal sequins in your needlework?

The point of these paillettes is that they are real metal. Use them in place of synthetics (plastic) to elevate a design, adding a level of elegance. They will add a unique texture, a visual element, and a regal look. In needlework today, stitchers use them in many ways such as:

  • borders
  • background dots
  • sampler bands
  • goldwork and real metal designs
  • to replicate things like fish scales and stars in a night sky
  • as round elements on geometric designs
  • embellish a regal themed design
  • as eyes, berries, apples or other round objects

How to attach a paillette:


  • Use your needle to pick up a paillette through its center hole
  • Use a few straight stitches or a decorative stitch to 'tack" it down: bring the needle and thread up in the center of the paillette, and back down on the outside edge of the paillette
  • Use a clear thread, a matching metallic thread or silk thread, or a contrasting metallic or silk thread, depending on the look you want
  • You can also attach a bead on top, securing the paillette beneath

Where can you get paillettes?

These embellishments come in a variety of sizes, most often in gold or silver. You can buy packages of paillettes for a few dollars. Most are sold by weight, as in 1-gram packages. Note: the larger the paillette, the fewer you will get in a package (larger weighs more), so when you order a size, check to see how many you will get. If you are working on a design, try to count or estimate how many paillettes you will need.


The frequently asked question

Will they tarnish? As with any metal, they can tarnish over time but respond well to polishing. Kreinik's paillettes are ecclesiastical grade, meaning they are treated to prevent tarnishing. Will time ruin embroidery made with paillettes? Not if the textile has been taken care of, ie, not exposed to the elements, not washed (dry clean if necessary), etc. Treat the embroidery like the valuable textile it is, made from your valuable time and creative dreams.

Have no fear about working with them. If you've been wanting to experiment with real metal threads but are intimidated or not sure where to start, start with paillettes. They are easy to use and will get you hooked on the look of real metal embellishments. Can you think of places to use them in a design you're stitching now?


For more information:

• Kreinik's gold and silver paillettes, sizes, packages: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Paillettes/
• How to attach paillettes, from The Unbroken Thread blog: http://www.theunbrokenthread.com/blog/2011/03/18/how-to-attach-paillettes-and-beads/
• Difference between various sequins, from Janet Perry's blog: http://nuts-about-needlepoint.com/paillettes-and-sequins-whats-the-difference/


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How is Braid Made at Kreinik?



Ever wonder how we make Fine #8 Braid or Very Fine #4 Braid? Now you can get a glimpse of never-before-seen action at the Kreinik thread factory. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes video by Kyle Sams showing how Kreinik Braids are made.


Threads visualize thoughts


Every day, a group of dedicated staffers transform raw materials into your favorite metallic threads, then ship the spools and cones to stores all over the world. Thank you for using Kreinik to make your cross stitch, needlepoint, weaving, knitting, crochet, fly fishing, tatting, Temari, paper crafts, mixed media, fiber art—all techniques!—come to life.

For more information:


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Go Somewhere Between with Kreinik


Right on the heels of the season debut of Game of Thrones, in which Kreinik threads are used by costume designer Michelle Carragher, we're excited to announce that Kreinik is behind another exciting tv venture! Well, sort of... Pardon us while we brag a little bit.

Danielle Kreinik—daughter of company owner Doug Kreinik, granddaughter of founders Jerry and Estelle Kreinik, past part-time helper, and always creative input-er—is co-producer of ABC's new summer series "Somewhere Between." The show premieres this coming Monday night, July 24, 2017; check your local ABC channel for time.

Danielle Kreinik worked as a developer on the new ABC show Somewhere Between


ABC describes the drama/thriller show this way: "Paula Patton stars as Laura Price, a local news producer in San Francisco helping the police to hunt down a serial killer. After the killer strikes close to home, a twist of fate allows a "Groundhog Day"-type reset, and Laura relives the week prior to the string of murders. Unlike "Groundhog Day," she only has one chance. Can she change fate and stop the killer?"

After growing up surrounded by threads, textiles, and artists, Danielle earned her degree in Opera from Indiana University, and then moved to Los Angeles. She has worked as an actress, script reviewer, developer and producer. From idea to development and then production, Danielle has been working on this show for some time, so it is exciting to see it come to the screen for everyone to watch. Danielle actually found out that the series was picked up by ABC on the day her son was born. Our Kreinik baby is growing and smiling and charming the world, and the show is finally premiering too.

So pardon our bragging as we invite you to tune in to the show or share with friends who may be interested. For more information:






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