Friday, January 10, 2014

Glittery thread comparison

Glitter Floss Comparison
I love shiny things. Glitter.. ohhh, pretty! I would love to use glitter floss in some of my stitcheries but nice glitter floss is hard to find. There is plenty of glittery floss to be had, but one that is actually nice to work with and doesn't make me want to tear out my hair after 2 minutes.. well, that's not so easy to come by.

I recently got some glitter floss from Michelle and I thought I'd compare them with what I already had in my stash. So this isn't a definitive comparison of all things glitter floss/thread. For example, I have yet to try Kreinik filaments etc.

Glitter thread comparison
The three types of thread I tried in this comparison: Lecien Cosmo sparkle floss DMC stranded metallic Anchor Astrella.

I tried all three with 3 different stitches: back stitch, French knots and chain stitch. French knots can be tricky enough with regular thread, so I wanted to see what they would be like using these ones. And both French knots and chain stitch makes the thread twist more than regular floss so I wanted to see how the threads would cope with this twisting.

Glitter thread comparison
As you can see, I did two tests of the Anchor thread because I wanted to see whether using one or more strands would make a difference.

Threading the needle with the thread was easier than expected, probably because it is fairly stiff. The stiffness wasn't really a problem when using just one strand, although it was a little difficult to get the tension right for the chain stitch.

However, when I used two strands, the thread twisted a lot and the French knots were all over the place. One of them twisted itself into a proper knots, so there's a hoop of thread sticking out of it because I couldn't pull it through. And I had even more trouble with the chain stitch tension.

I think I would avoid this thread unless I was working straight lines (back stitch or running stitch for example). It could be used for chain stitch as fill stitch where you want the stitches to be closed and not open like if you're using chain stitch as a decorative stitch.

I have a few colours of the DMC metallics, but I rarely use them. And my test sadly confirmed my previous uses of it. I find it really difficult to thread in the needle, it splits apart almost down to the atomic level. Even using Thread Heaven. Very fiddly! So I only used one strand for this test because, well, that's all I had the patience to could thread.

This thread isn't as stiff as the Anchor one but it does twist a bit and again it is difficult to get the tension right. My french knots don't look uniform at all and the chain stitch experience is similar to the Anchor thread.

I would use this thread in the same way as the Anchor one. I don't think I'd have the patience to use it for more decorative stitches.

Despite the above experiences, I was hopeful when it came to the Cosmo floss, because it felt different to the touch. And that is because it is part glitter thread and part regular thread (as far as I can tell anyway). I think that is visible in the photo? Threading it was a little bit fiddly, but nothing like the other two.

My back stitch seems more even than in the other two examples. The French knots aren't perfect, which I think is because the glitter part makes the thread a little bit uneven. But I could pull the thread through the knots without problem and there are no tangles on the back. And I was very happy to be able to make chain stitch that actually stay fairly open. I even had a go at a bit of satin stitch which worked fine too.

I'm really pleasantly surprised at how nice this sparkly floss is. It can definitely be used for more decorative stitches than the other two. It is also more sparkly than the others, despite being part regular thread. So I may just be adding more sparkle to my embroidery in future!

To draw some kind of conclusion, if you want to add glitter to your embroidery using something that is part regular floss and part glitter/metallic floss is probably the best way to go. It will be more pliable and easier to thread in the needle I think. I want to try other types of thread, and filament as well, to see what's the best way to add some stitchy sparkle.

Do you have any recommendations? What is your experience with sparkly/metallic threads?

Glitter thread comparison
Bonus shot of the pretty Cosmo sparkle floss.. :-)

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