REVISED and UPDATED September 2003
JAY'S STITCHING TIPS FOR RAINBOW GALLERY FIBERS
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The number of strands to use on any size canvas or fabric is a suggestion. You may ply up or down to get these yarns to fit most sizes. Tension and personal preference, as well as the construction of the stitches, will determine how you use each yarn.
For detailed cross stitch usage please see Rainbow Gallery's Cross Stitch Usage Chart.
For detailed cross stitch book usage please see Rainbow Gallery's Cross Stitch Book Usage Chart.
All of Rainbow Gallery's Threads are made to be color fast. However, if you are going to wet block or wash a piece I would recommend testing the individual yarns first. Even though a manufacturer states that the fiber is color fast, changes in the dying process and the way the dyed yarn is washed leave an area of doubt. With time spent on a piece, a little extra assurance is wise.
Chainettes: Some metallics from Rainbow Gallery are chainettes. This construction gives them a soft hand but makes them a bit difficult to work with at first. However, practice solves the problem of the chainette unraveling. There are several things to do to gain control of these yarns.
You can use a larger than normal needle and come straight up and down through the canvas, being careful not to drag the yarn on the canvas. The larger needle makes a bigger hole for the yarn to pass through and there will be less friction on it. You might also try a smaller than normal needle as this tends to set the yarn in the needle and it will not run beyond the small eye of the needle. The yarn that is the tail will be lost. See which method works best for your stitching technique.
Make sure that small pieces of any unraveling yarn do not get buried in your work. It will be very difficult to get these out and your stitches will look fuzzy. Some people say to break the end of the yarn rather than to cut it. If that works for you, do it. In addition, a very small amount of Fray Check or clear fingernail polish applied to the end of the thread after it is in the needle will help. Let dry thoroughly before stitching.
It is not the end of the world when the yarn unravels. Cut ahead of the raveled part and rethread your needle. Chainettes are softer and less expensive than braids. They plump, so to speak, and cover the canvas better. I believe these advantages far outweigh the initial difficulty.
Fuzzy Yarns: Many of the yarns that Rainbow Gallery has are great for the fur on animals, hair and beards. Generally, they appear to be too large for the canvas. What you can do is use a slightly larger needle that will push the canvas threads apart and let the yarn pass easily through the canvas. When you are going for a fuzzy appearance any distortion to the canvas will not show and will be covered by the yarn. Long stitches will show the effect much better than short stitches. In addition, a split stitch is wonderful to bring the furry effect out, but come up through the canvas rather than down into it. A needle punch is also a great way to cover large areas in a short period of time. The punch needle will take most of the drudgery out of Turkey Work. Several different sizes of needles are available to fit different sizes of canvas and to accommodate different yarns. Please note that if you use the punch needle to do Turkey Work you will need to glue down the yarn on the back of the canvas. Tacky glue or any fabric glue will work. Another good tool is a nap brush (Bunka brush). It fits over your index finger and has strong wire teeth that you scrape over the yarn to enhance its furry effect. This technique will lift the fiber from the canvas and make yarn look like fur or hair.
Use this as you would any normal yarn. It is strong and will not fray easily. If desired, you may brush it with a Bunka Brush or toothbrush to fluff it up to maximize the furry effect.
This yarn can best be described as a wispy fringe. It has pieces of transparent fiber that give a glistening effect. Do not drag this yarn across the canvas. Use a larger than normal needle to prepare the canvas holes to accept the Arctic Rays without pulling it apart. The glistening effect of this yarn is more pronounced with long stitches, as less of the fringe is pulled into the canvas. Arctic Rays also makes wonderful French Knots.
There are 5 different fibers that make up the Background line. Only two require any special consideration. BG1 is a Noppee silk and should be stitched using shorter than normal lengths, 12" or so. It will fray rather easily, so come straight up and straight down through the canvas. It will also help to use a needle that is slightly larger than you would normally use. Do not drag the silk across the canvas, as this will tear it apart. Its nice shine and glorious texture will make the extra effort worthwhile. See Silk & Cream section for BG2 and BG21-47.
BG4, Natural Linen, will tend to untwist. Turn your needle as you stitch to maintain the twist of the fiber. It will also twist back on itself as you stitch and knots easily. Turning your needle also helps to control this problem.
This is an iridescent shiny metallic that is great for snow, ice or anything where you do not want to overpower your other stitching. It is a chainette, so use the above-mentioned care when stitching. This has a rather loose construction to allow some of the color of your canvas to show through the metallic.
This yarn is a cotton floss with each of its four strands is equivalent to pearl cotton size 12. (Each ply is slightly larger than a strand of DMC floss.) It should be stripped and put back together when stitching so that it will lie smoothly. As with space dyed or overdyed yarns, you need to match up the ends in the same order that you stripped the yarn. Also, when you stitch with the second length you remove from the card, thread the needle on the end opposite the cut (or the end left on the card, not the end that you cut). Always thread the end that is opposite the cut as you continue with additional lengths of yarn. This will ensure that the run of colors remains the same. It is also a good idea to stitch having as much thread as possible on the back of the canvas as this will help you go through the color runs much more quickly. Do not leave long ends when beginning or ending off the thread as this will interrupt the color run.
Bravo!, Encore! and Overture are dyed to match. However, not all colors are made in all lines. Make sure that you buy enough at one time to complete your project as the dye lots do vary somewhat. The dye lots change because these yarns are hand dyed and variations do occur. They are three different weights that give options when stitching. Hardanger lovers will especially love the versatility of having the different weights from which to choose. Another advantage of these yarns is that they are four plies. This is especially helpful when doing geometric designs where you need to do the same color runs in four different directions.
Cashmere is a very soft, luxurious fiber. It is made from 100% cashmere, the same as the soft, subtle sweaters that we all admire. It is a dream with which to stitch and glides through the canvas. It is a strong fiber; however do not use overly long lengths as the fuzzy appearance will wear as you stitch. As with all furry fibers, come straight up and go straight down through the canvas. A single ply as it comes off the card will work on 18 count canvas. For 13 or 14 count double the yarn in your needle, but use a slightly larger needle so as to push the canvas threads slightly apart. This will prevent wearing of the Cashmere as you stitch. For a furrier appearance you can use a Nap Brush to pull out the individual fibers to give your stitching a furry, hairy appearance.
Coronet Braid metallic comes in three different sizes, #4, #8 and #16. This is a direct substitute for the discontinued Christopher or La Lame smooth braids. The size #4 has four individual threads and replaces the La Lame size 11/4 and Christopher size 2B. Size #8 has eight threads and replaces La Lame size 11/2 and Christopher 11/2. Size #16 has sixteen threads and is the same size as La Lame 1 and Christopher 1. All sizes are sturdy enough to pass through the canvas and can be used for tent stitches. Coronet Braid is made with the metallic part tightly warped around a rayon core. This is not just a filament that is braided. Thus, unlike other braids, none of the core shows through. Its stitched appearance has the richness of real metal thread. When stitching come straight up and straight down as you do not want to cause wear on the thread from dragging it at an angle through the canvas. This is a great fiber to use for outlining and bends rather well around curved shapes. All sizes are excellent for couching.
See Chainettes above.
Crystal Braid has a unique icy pearl look that shimmers. There are 3 golds and 7 pastel colors. This braid is a number 12, or tapestry weight. This means that there is 12 strands of metallic braided together. It is a very sturdy yarn and will not unravel or fray easily. There are no special cautions you need to take with this yarn and it can be used wherever you would use any #12 braid
A single strand wool yarn that may be plied up to fit a variety of canvas sizes. It is a very strong yarn and may be used with other, weaker yarns to give strength.
Elegance is a tightly twisted silk that is dye matched to many of the colors of Splendor and the colors of Grandeur and Subtlety. It is roughly equivalent to a size 8 pearl. It is very strong, wear resistant, and is perfect for pulled work and hardanger. There is a nice shine to Elegance that is perfect for areas where you want a rich shine. Do not use long strands as the shine does eventually wear off as the thread goes through the canvas.
Each of the four strands of Encore! is about the size of Pearl Cotton #8. Work with it as you would Pearl Cotton. See Bravo! for hints regarding the handling of this type of yarn.
A nice furry yarn with a hint of shine that does not over power the fur part. This thread is best used for long stitches and does not need to be fluffed up or brushed, however if you feel that you need to brush the Fancy Fur use a very gentle brush, like a tooth brush. Make sure that you come up in a used or full hole and go down in the empty holes.
This is a very furry yarn that requires shorter than usual stitching lengths (around 12 inches or so) Use on 10 to 13 or 14 count canvas. Care must be used so that it does not pull apart. Most yarns are made of twisted plies, which give them strength. What makes Faux Fur "furry" is the lack of plies. Thus, it is somewhat delicate. Use a larger than normal needle coming straight up and down through the canvas. Do not drag the Faux Fur on top of the canvas. This yarn can be fluffed up with a Bunka Brush or a toothbrush. However, I would recommend using an accompanying yarn, such as Designer's Dream, to help maintain its strength.
If you have used rayons before and found them very hard to deal with because of the popping nature of the yarn, you should give Fiesta! a try. It is a six-ply floss and is not as stiff as the other rayons on the market. Fiesta! should be separated and the strands put back together. It is simple to separate using the same techniques as you would for cotton floss. Each ply is thinner than what you might be used to, so it is much easier to control and will not pop up as readily. You will need to maintain the tension as you stitch, holding each stitch in place with your finger or laying tool, until the next stitch is completed. This keeps your work from becoming loose and messy looking. It is fine to double this yarn over in your needle, being man-made, it has no grain. This will also help with tension. I find that wetting the yarn (after plying) helps. Let it dry thoroughly and it will be a breeze to stitch. Make sure that it is buried well when you begin and end so that it will not slip out later. A Bargello tuck is recommended. (Bury it first one way under stitches on the back and then again in the opposite direction).
Flair has a nice glimmer that will not overpower the other fibers in your work. Its very subtle shine will add interest to your work. On painted canvasses it reinforces the color underneath. Flair is a tubular nylon netting that will unravel. There are several ways to control this. As with the other chainettes, the same hints work. Use a larger than normal needle coming straight up and straight down through the canvas, being careful not to drag the Flair. A small amount of Fray Check or clear nail polish on the end after you thread your needle is another way to solve this problem. Cutting Flair on a severe diagonal can help. Also piercing the Flair with the needle has been suggested. After you thread the needle, pass the needle through the Flair near the end. This makes a small knot that tends to hold the yarn together. Practice will help you control the yarn, as your own personal stitching technique is as important as any trick. Remember to lay Flair, as you do not want it to twist. The effect will be well worth the effort. Other yarns may be inserted inside Flair that will change its look. A strand of floss can change the color just enough to give unlimited shading. Use a rug needle turned upside down to slip a fiber inside the Flair.
Stroke the yarn as you stitch with it. The Tiara metallic inside the Frosty Rays will tend to meander. If you pull the whole bundle, Flair and Tiara metallic together, it will straighten out and lay much nicer. Be careful not to pull the metallic all the way out as it is difficult to put pack. Also, the use of a lay8ing tool will help. If you are having trouble, try Petite Frosty Rays as it is a thinner yarn. It starts to get a bit tight on 18 count so be careful that small pieces of the nylon do not get stuck in your work. The Frosty Rays with the white pearl metallic inside is slightly heavier than the others. A little trick that gives interesting effects is to bring the thread up through the canvas, remove the needle, then slide the Frosty Rays down the Tiara to form a clump. Rethread you needle, go back through the canvas at a point of your choosing and couch down the bunched up Frosty Rays. This gives the effect of a crinkly bullion knot or chenille and makes three dimensional fur, hair or ruffles.
Exactly as the name implies, it is really fuzzy with a shinny glint. Use short lengths and bring straight up and straight down through the canvas. Do not drag or pull diagonally. There is really no need to brush this yarn as it is fuzzy all by itself. The shinny hairs do not overpower the rest of the yarn, they just add a nice hint of sparkle. White Fuzzy Stuff is great for snow and snowmen. Fill in areas with split stitches or long stitches. Ignore the rule of going down into a full hole and up in an unused hole. If you come up in a hole that already has the Fuzzy Stuff stitched in it you will be pulling the hairs up to the front of the canvas to add a little more fuzziness. There are good animal colors and some very wild and funky colors that are great for Halloween designs, wild hair or outlandish garments.
Fyre Werks is a beautiful shiny metallic ribbon that will add glitter and glitz to your work. While not a delicate yarn, it does tend to fray at the ends and anything past the eye of the needle will be lost. Do not use overly long pieces and be careful to lay Fyre Werks. A laying tool usually is not needed; I use my finger to give it the right direction and prevent twists. I also watch how it is laying when doing tent stitches. Twisted Fyre Werks will not work, so keep it flat. Fyre Werks is pronounced "Fire Works"
SOFT SHEEN: Fyre Werks with less of a shine, more of a glint of metallic, rather than a very bright shine. It is stitched the same way as the regular Fyre Werks.
HOLOGRAM: Fyre Werks with even more of a shine. There is a depth to the shine that the Hologram Fyre Werks gives. The metallic is a hologram that is cut into thin strips and then braided. It is slightly heavier than the regular Fyre Werks so stitches a littler tighter on the canvas.
The Gold Rush Family: The four sizes of Gold Rush are all chainettes. See the previous discussion on chainettes. The number after the Gold Rush logo denotes the size of canvas for which the yarn is best suited. A word about Gold Rush XS, try this on both 11 count Aida and 18 count canvas. It is a very versatile yarn. This metallic can be used to replace 4-5 strands of blending filament for those who do not like to ply up. The problem of filament curling up on itself will be solved when you use Gold Rush XS.
Grandeur is dye matched to many of the Splendor colors. It also matches all colors of the thinner weight Elegance and the #12 pearl silk, Subtlety. It is a twisted silk that is about the size of a #5 pearl. It is a very strong fiber that will loose its shine if you use too long of a piece. It is soft and will spread a little on the canvas to give excellent coverage. Maintain the twist as you stitch so that the Grandeur does not untwist and give a flat appearance.
Do you hate to add blending filament to a yarn? Well, here is the answer. Hi-Lights has the sparkly blending filament already added. All you need to do is take it off the card and begin stitching. The metallic that is pre-blended into the thread will not separate when you stitch. This is a thin thread that may be plied for use on larger count canvas. It is also very good for cross stitch. Do not double the thread over in your needle as you want the metallic filament wound in the same direction when you are stitching with more than one strand. Make sure that you bury the thread on the back very securely or use a waste knot. It is slippery and will pull out easily. Use shorter lengths to prevent wear and unraveling.
Finally, a matte cotton that fits 18 count. Use as you would any other yarn. Do not use long lengths (12" or so will do) as the first stitches will look very different from the last ones.
When doing any stitch other than a tent stitch, the kinks in the ribbon must be removed. There are several ways to do this, one of which should be right for you. The easiest way is to wet the working length of the ribbon. Use a damp sponge, white paper towel, cloth or whatever, running the Neon Rays through. It is best to use water, as opposed to any other liquid, to remove the kinks. Let the Neon Rays dry before stitching. Another method is to pop Neon Rays as you would Rozashi Silk. Wrap it around a finger on each hand and snap it. The problem with this is that it will thin your length of fiber. If this is not a concern, go ahead. If it is, use a different method. Two other methods are steaming or ironing. That seems to be too much effort for most people. A clean, hot light bulb is a handy substitute. You must lay Neon Rays or you will lose the beauty of this yarn.
A laying tool is needed and there are several different ones on the market, all of which work well. Also, note that stitching tension will have an effect on the coverage of Neon Rays. A tighter tension will thin this yarn out and a looser tension will allow it to expand on the canvas. Also, try stabbing Neon Rays with the needle after it is threaded. By piercing the ribbon with the needle, you will avoid it slipping out of the needle. This will help you control your tension. Bury the Neon Rays well when you begin and end, as it will slip out easily. A Bargello tuck is recommended.
Nordic Gold is a very fine metallic that is excellent for needlepoint and hardanger. It also works well on 18 count aida fabric. It is a chainette, so the cautions listed above apply. If you hate to ply-up blending filament this will work well and you will not have the trouble with it curling and fighting you while you stitch. It is about the size of 2-3 plies of filament.
Each strand of Overture is about the size of Pearl Cotton #5. See Bravo! and Encore!.
The most important thing about working with Patent Leather is to make sure that you lay it front and back. Keeping it laid on the back will make it much easier to work with and make the front lay perfectly flat. Patent Leather may be tent stitched on 18 count with difficulty, but is easier to use long stitches.
Patina may be used as it is or plied. If you use Patina as it comes off the card, make sure you maintain the twist as you are stitching. Wetting Patina helps, using the same method as with Fiesta! (also, see Neon Rays for other suggestions.) Patina is somewhat more difficult to separate. It is a three-ply yarn and you need to untwist it slightly, about an inch from the end and pull out one of the plies very carefully. What you have will look almost like Japanese flat silk. Wetting it will remove all the uneven kinks and makes it easier to lay. Double Patina over in your needle once it is plied and this will help you control it and get it to lay flat. Begin and end your stitches carefully so that the Patina will not pull out. A Bargello tuck is recommended.
This yarn can be used as it comes or it may be plied. It is a four-ply cotton yarn with a cabled appearance. Try to maintain its twist as you stitch. Your work will look uneven if you let Pebbly Perle unwind as you stitch. If you strip it you may double the plies over in your needle for more control even though this is a natural fiber and we have been taught not to do this. Wetting this yarn also helps to get the kinks out after plying.
PETITE FROSTY RAYS®
This is a thinner version of Frosty Rays. It works better when you are doing a tent stitch on 18 count. It will also work fine for longer stitches on 18 count so you do not need to switch between the two types while stitching. Petite Frosty Rays is made from Flair and has Treasure Braid Petite inside (which is thinner than Tiara.) All the hints for Frosty Rays apply to the Petite also.
PETITE SPARKLE RAYS®
A thinner version of Sparkle Rays. This is a 1.5mm Ribbon so that it works better on 18 count canvas. There are fewer colors than the regular Sparkle Rays. You might find that this works better for tent stitches and the other is better for the long stitches. At present there are 24 colors of Petite Sparkle Rays that match 24 of the regular Sparkle Rays colors.
This is a mini-garland metallic chenille. It is surprisingly strong. Very little of the metallic will flake as you are stitching. It may be passed through canvas and works on almost any size canvas including 18 count. On fine canvas it is hard to find the right hole as it is so fuzzy it hides the adjacent holes. It might help to outline the area that you are going to stitch and then fill in. If you miss a stitch here and there, it will not show.
A luxurious furry yarn that is 100% Angora. You must use pieces that are no longer than 20 inches. While not a fiber that will fall apart, you do not want to cause it to wear as you stitch. Come straight up through the canvas and straight down, being careful not to drag it along on top of the canvas or pull it on an angle. Rainbow Angora can be brushed carefully to bring out a more pronounced furry effect. Long stitches are preferred if you want a furry effect as fewer of the hairs of the fiber will be pulled into the canvas.
This linen comes in a wide color range and is very strong. It is great for all kinds of needlepoint, including pulled work. It can be used as you would any other yarn. Some stitchers run this yarn over their fingernail to smooth it, but be careful you do not dull the fiber.
Rainbow Tweed has a wonderful soft hand. It is a blend of cotton, wool and acrylic that absorbs the dyes unevenly. This gives it a soft heathery look that is wonderful for stitching large areas such as sky, water, mountains and greenery. It is 4-ply divisible yarn that can be used on any count and comes in "solid" colors and gentle overdyed colors. Some of the overdyed colors match the Overture, Encore! and Bravo! colors.
See the section on Bravo! for stitching tips.
Use this metallic on 13-14 count canvas. For 18 count it is best used couched. Its rough texture is what gives the wonderful shine and sparkle. It shows up best when used in long lengths couched with other fibers. It will pass through the canvas if you are careful but tends to walk up on itself. It can be plied; however, this takes an experienced hand. When passing Razzle-Dazzle 6 through the canvas, stitch straight up and down.
See Chainettes above for working with Ribbon Rays. This is a very versatile, high luster metallic. I have used it on 10 to 18 count canvas and it covers well. It makes an excellent trim to cover seams.
SANTA’S BEARD & SUIT®
See Faux Fur. This is the same type of yarn.
SILK & CREAM
This is a soft twisted silk and wool combination with a wonderful buttery hand. It is great for backgrounds and areas that use a lot of thread. There is a nice shine to this yarn, which requires you to use shorter lengths so the shine does not disappear. The soft twist must also be maintained as you stitch by rotating your needle as you go in and out of your canvas or fabric.
SPARKLE RAYS®Sparkle Rays is a neon ribbon that glows in the light rather than the dark. It is stitched the same way that Neon Rays is stitched but it is not as slippery. There are small speckles of metallic along the length of the neon colored ribbon. It will unravel past the end of the needle so short tails are called for. Be careful to lay Sparkle Rays as it is a ribbon and any twisting will detract from it appearance. (Needlepoint 13&14 Count canvas, long stitches on 13-18 Count, Cross Stitch 7 to 10 Count)
This is a 12-ply silk floss with an unusual construction. It has three bundles of four strands each. It is easiest if you pull the bundles out first and then take out each strand. The twist of each individual strand is tighter than most silks. This makes Splendor easier to use. It will not snag on all but the roughest hands. Be careful to ply and lay the silk to keep the nice shine. I have also stitched with each bundle as it comes. This silk is perfect for people who have been afraid of silks. Many of the usual problems experienced with silk will not occur with Splendor. Anyone that stitches with cotton floss will have no problem with it. Dyed to match many of the Splendor colors are Grandeur, a silk pearl #5, Elegance, a silk pearl #8 and Subtlety, a silk pearl #12.
SPLENDOR SILK RIBBON®
If you have used silk ribbon before you will love Splendor Silk Ribbon. If you have never stitched with ribbon a whole new world of texture awaits. This silk ribbon is dye matched to the colors of Splendor Silk (as well as Grandeur, Elegance, and Subtlety.) It is 4mm wide and is generally used for embellishments on the top of the canvas. One advantage to the Splendor Silk Ribbon is that it is color fast (always test first.) Solid colors are great for flowers and gardens and there are overdyed colors which shade themselves. It is best to use a needle with a long eye so as not to bunch the ribbon up in the eye of the needle. You may also set the ribbon in the needle by first threading it through the eye and then piercing the ribbon with the needle and pulling tight. This will prevent the ribbon from slipping out of the eye of the needle as you stitch. Use short lengths as ribbon will fray easily. Splendor Silk Floss can also be used to attach the ribbon and create the effect you want. Since the ribbon is dye matched to Splendor there will be no trouble matching colors.
Subtlety is a very tightly twisted silk pearl that is close in size to pearl cotton #12. The tight twist gives it a very sharp and crisp appearance. Maintain the twist as you stitch so that it does not knot up on the back of the canvas. Subtlety is dye matched to colors of Splendor, Grandeur and Elegance. It is a great fiber for stitching fine counted work and for use in Hardanger. Since it is dye matched to the other silks Subtlety can be used in conjunction with them to give even more texture. The color numbers are the same across the lines, but the prefixes are different. This is a very strong fiber that can be used in pulled work without breaking.
This is an extremely strong suede-like yarn that stitches like Ultra Suede. It has a core that is a little darker, so be very careful to lay Super-Suede. The surface is fuzzier than Ultra Suede and you can see the nap. You also can use very long pieces and do not have to worry about it breaking. It wears very well.
This is a metallic that is twisted, not braided. This makes it softer and somewhat easier to use. It will fray at the ends so anything past the eye of your needle will be lost. Do not use very long lengths and be careful not to drag Tiara on the top of the canvas.
BLENDED COLORS: Several colors have been twisted together for unusually gorgeous combinations.
Treasure Braid is a very shinny metallic that comes in size #4, #8, and #16. All are braided and therefore will not unravel as you stitch. It is very durable and you may use long lengths when stitching. It is made in England and Japan and is softer than similar metallics. Because of this, it covers the canvas well. In many applications Size #4 is a good substitute for several plys of blending filament (Also see Petite Braid below.) When using this size you will no longer need to ply up several strands of filament. Size #8 is twice the size of the #4 and #16 is again twice the size of the #8. Colors are consistent between the different sizes.
HIGH GLOSS: There are several colors of high gloss colors available for the extra shine and luster when using the size #8 and #16.
TREASURE BRAID PETITE™
This is our newest size in the Treasure Braid family. It is a three ply braided metallic that is extremely versatile. It can usually replace a #4 braid, however, at half the cost per yard. It is very durable and should not present any problem when stitching. In fact, you might try using it where you would use two ply of blending filament. It would give the same look and you would not have the bother, or mess, of stitching with blending filament that you would need to ply up. It is great to use when you want to add a glimmer of metallic without overpowering the rest of your stitching. You also may double or triple it in the needle when you want braids that are equal to a #6 or #9 weight.
This is very similar to Gold Rush 14. However, it has a variegated synthetic with the metallic filament so that it looks like an overdyed or variegated yarn. It has all the properties of chainettes discussed above. However it is a littler thinner than Gold Rush 14 and works a little better on 18 count canvas. (See section on chainettes)
Use short lengths! This fiber will tear easily if you are not careful. Use a larger than normal needle and come straight up and straight down, being careful not to drag the Ultra Suede across the canvas. When you start a length, bury it in stitching already done and then change your needle to the other end. Do not pull the whole length through the threads on the back of the canvas. You can also use an away knot, without the knot. Come up from the bottom and then change your needle to the other side of the length of fiber. Stitch over it later in your work. It is best to keep the Ultra Suede at room temperature and away from moisture. Make sure that you lay Ultra Suede as it tends to twist. Laying it on the back of the canvas will also help to keep the front looking good. Ultra Suede can be tent stitched on 18 count canvas with great difficulty; however, long stitches are best. When you purchase Ultra Suede, make sure you get enough to finish your project. Many colors are fashion colors that are available only for a limited time. The basic colors should always be available. They are: U01, U02, U16, U22, U25, U29, U31, U84, and U85.
If you want a yarn that is much stronger, try our Super Suede (see above). It comes in fewer colors, but it will not pull apart as you stitch.
This is a fuzzy, beautiful velour yarn. It maintains its shape and thickness throughout its length. Use a rather large needle and a short tail. It does not come apart while stitching, but it may shred behind the eye of the needle. If this happens move the needle forward a half inch or so and it will not unthread. Very Velvet is colorfast and should not bleed, however, always test first. If your test produces some color it is likely some of the fine hairs pulled out. These can be flicked away leaving no dye behind. The color should remain consistent with very little dye lot variations. This size is a little tight on 18 count when doing a tent stitch. You might want to use the Petite Very Velvet for basketweave and this size for any long stitches. When preparing this fiber to be stitched, take a length off the card and run your fingernail over it a couple of times. This should remove any kinks and any excess flakes. Come straight up and down through the canvas and guide the Very Velvet with your free hand.
VERY VELVET PETITE
The Petite size of Very Velvet comes in the same color range as the regular Very Velvet. This size is better for doing basket weave or tent stitches on 18 count canvas. The regular size Very Velvet was a bit hard to manage on 18 count when doing tent stitches and they looked a bit packed. You may also use this size for longer stitches or use the regular size for satin stitches. The colors march. The hints for the Very Velvet apply here also.
WATER N’ ICE
Water N’ Ice is a loosely braided translucent ribbon. It is fantastic for painted canvas where you want some of the color to show through. It is also great for any reflecting surface such as water, ice, mirrors, dew drops, and frost. This is a strong metallic that will not wear while stitching, but anything past the eye of the needle will unbraid and be lost. Long stitches give the best effect, so make sure that you lay this fiber so that it is flat on the surface of the canvas. This will give the best shine. Water N’ Ice can also be used in geometric designs where you would like a frosted look over other stitches.
Winter is another chainette that is great for snow or ice. When stitched there is sparkle that looks like real snow. It will not overpower your other stitching. This fiber is about the same size as Gold Rush 14
A very fine fuzzy single yarn. It is usually necessary to ply up to a thickness that will cover your canvas. It is OK to double this yarn over in your needle. It may also be brushed to give a fuller effect. Combine it with another, stronger yarn such as Designer's Dream to give it even more strength.
This is chainette metallic with a high luster effect. See Chainettes above.
Additional hints are always welcome for later editions of this guide. Write to:
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N. Hollywood, CA 91605
Attn: J.R. Patterson
or email at info@RainbowGallery.com
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