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Tips on Stitching with Kreinik Metallic Thread
Stitching with metallic threads can be a wonderful experience, especially if you take your time and pay special attention to maintaining the integrity of the thread as you stitch. Metallic threads brighten and add dimension to stitched projects, giving them that extra elegance and quality. Whether the goal is to create bold or subtle effects, these decorative threads will enhance all types of needlework with a touch of realism and contrasting luster.

You can use metallic threads in any design, whether or not the project calls for it, to make the piece come alive or appear more visually interesting. A metallic thread makes a wrought-iron lamp post look more realistic, for example. They can make snow actually look frosty, and glow-in-the-dark threads can make a lighthouse beam at night.

You just can’t get that effect using only cotton floss in a project.

First step to ensure ahead of time that your project will have the look you desire, one that is visually exciting and attainable, is to choose the appropriate thread size for your project. Kreinik has many types from which to chose, each with unique properties that work well within a given project’s need.

Kreinik Blending Filament

Blending Filament gives designs an extra sparkle that can be added to areas that require a bit of highlight without the worry of adding weight to stitches. Combine it with other materials, like cotton or silk, to create this visual excitement.

Kreinik Braid

This thread is used by itself, not combined with another thread, to add more texture and highlights to a design. A single strand of Very Fine (#4) Braid or Fine (#8) Braid is an easy substitute for two strands of cotton floss on 14-count fabric. Use #4 Braid on 16- and 18-count fabrics. Where do you substitute? The first guide is to use metallics to recreate anything that is naturally light-reflective in real life, like a fish out of water, scissors, a sword, or snow.

Kreinik Ribbon

This is a flat thread used to add a three-dimensional look to designs. Use Ribbon in Lazy Daisy stitch and make dew-kissed flower petals, for instance, or use it in Spider Web stitch to make a sparkling rose. You can also use it in straight stitch and satin stitch where a flat texture could make the design more interesting.

Kreinik Cord

This very strong, thin thread is used to couch (or tack) a thicker thread. Couching is an easy surface embellishment you can do in almost every design, such as: couch Kreinik Ribbon as railroad track, or couch Kreinik braid as spokes on a bicycle. Cord also creates a lacy look in blackwork designs, and it can be used in backstitch instead of black floss for outlining to give a more sharp-looking edge.

Kreinik Cable

Cable is a 3-ply twisted metallic thread that is used for adding a rope, chain or cable look to cross stitch designs. For example, use it to make a realistic-looking chain on a stitched pocket watch. It is also used in specialty stitches like Herringbone in sampler designs; it looks like a real metal thread so it gives a very elegant, refined appearance to band samplers.

Kreinik Japan Thread

These threads, which come in gold, silver and copper colors, replicate the real-metal-thread look you see in traditional Japanese embroideries. Even if you’re not doing a kimono or crane design, you can use the real-metal colors of Japan threads to add elegance to your project. Use Japan #1, a thin cord-like thread, for backstitching or to couch Japan #5 and #7 (these are not passing threads; rather, you lay Japan #5 and 7 on the surface and tack down).

Kreinik Ombré

Use this softly twisted thread for fuzzy texture, like tinsel on a stitched Christmas tree. Use the Pearl color Ombre in vertical satin stitches to make snow drifts, too. Being fuzzy, it adds texture to a design. Being a metallic thread, it adds light to a design. That makes for a fun combination that will make your projects really stand out and look fun.

Kreinik Facets

This bead-like yarn can easily be couched to add ‘bumpy’ texture to a design. Facets give you the look of beads without the mess. To get started, just plunge the end of the Facets to the back of the fabric and tack into already stitched areas. Then couch on the top using Kreinik Cord, in swirls, as garland on trees, as an angel’s halo, etc.

Mrs. K’s Iron-on Threads

This is the newest metallic thread made by Kreinik. Originally designed for card making and scrapbooking, it can also be used to accent or finish stitchery projects. They are a no-sew embellishment to use when you don’t have time to couch a trim. Use them for edging Christmas stockings, ornaments, and wall hangings. (Note: these iron-on metallic threads are made to take the heat; however, other metallic threads are not, so just don’t let your iron touch any other metallic thread.)

Once you’ve selected the proper thread to use, your next step in enjoying the process of stitching with metallics is to maintain the integrity of your metallic thread. While stitching with metallics, it is imperative to avoid thread friction. This can be accomplished by following some simple tips. Thread friction occurs when thread is repeatedly passed through the ground material, damaging the outer core with each successive pass through. To avoid this damage, stitch slowly and work with no more than 18 inches of thread to reduce tangling. In addition, it is important that you use the right size needle for the thread and ground fabric you’re stitching with. Simply choose a needle large enough to open the hole in the fabric sufficiently—not one too large that it permanently distorts the ground material, and not too small that the thread can’t pass through easily. Additionally, to keep thread from sticking on the edge of your fabric, and thus fraying it, just take a moment before starting your project to smooth the edges of the fabric: cover sides with tape, or turn under the edges and secure with a running stitch.

Also, to reduce twisting and knotting, metallic threads should be relaxed. To do this, simply moisten thread with a cosmetic sponge upon removal from spool. And while stitching, maintain the natural twist of the fiber by allowing your needle to hang down every few stitches.

Kreinik Blending Filament, Cord, Cable, Braids, Ribbons, and Ombre are hand and machine washable and dry-cleanable. Do not use bleach. Japan Threads and FACETS are dry-cleanable only. When ironing a finished piece containing Kreinik Metallics, do not iron directly on the metallic thread. Use a cloth. Do not use steam. Blending Filament, Cord, Cable, Braids and Ribbons can be tumble dried on low setting. Fabric embellished with the iron-on threads should be washed by hand. Hang to dry. It also may be dry-cleaned. If thread loosens, touch up with a HOT iron.

Threads are your medium for creating your projects. Don’t fear a thread! They don’t have to be complicated to use either. Above are simple steps you can take to ensure a pleasant stitching experience. To get the most positive experience out of stitching with metallic threads, take your time stitching. Enjoy the process and you, as well as others, are sure to enjoy the results!

More Tips and Hints will be forthcoming in the future! If you are new to cross stitching, be sure to check on the Beginners Page. Thank you!

All Cross Stitch Designs posted on this site have been designed by E.Flickner. I can be contact at If ordering a pattern please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.