Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Can't be too thin, really!

I've been sewing for ages now with Gütermann Silk thread (the thread on the blue plastic spool) whenever I needed sewing silk. Why? Because it's available in almost every second sewing shop around here. But a few things did irk me about it. First of all, it's on a blue plastic spool - that makes it easy to tell the silk thread from the cotton and polyester variations coming on the same spool type, but not so easy to use the thread on medieval events. Then it is - of course - coloured chemically. And then it's just so thick and bulky! Fine for tablet weaves, but for sewing really fine silk? Nah. And for authentic hairnets, too, it's just too thick.

So a while ago, I found out about YLI silks - the sort they call "Silk 100", to be precise. It comes on plastic spools (white and quite short-and-thick, this time) and is much lankier than Gütermann. So I was happier for a while - but the plastic spool problem still applies (and I was not about to re-wind 200 metres of fine silk thread from a plastic spool to a wooden one, I'm one of those rather hiding their spools). And while YLI says it's the finest silk thread on the market, it is still a little thick for making hairnets. And while we're at it, I'd like a finer thread for the really fine stitching on thin silks (think Pongé 05 quality here) and for couching works or sewing something on "invisible". So now YLI is not the thinnest thread on the market anymore, at least not on the medieval markets!

Here you see from left to right: All the money I will have left after investing in this market stall, Gütermann sewing-quality white silk thread, YLI Silk 100 in white, and my extra-thin silk.

It will come wound in portions on paper cores, so while it is not properly medieval, it's at least not plastic. The thread is fine for making hairnets, attaching small embroideries to a garment, for using as weft thread in tablet weaving with thicker silks if you would like your motifs a little less lengthened, or for stitching really fine silks or - of course - couching work. The only thing left to decide for me now is how much of the thread to use for one portion: one hundred metres? two hundred metres? More or less?


Anonymous said...

Hi Katrin!

What is the brand of your extra-thin silk thread, the thinnest you have in the photo in this post? I am looking for extra-thin silk thread in black.

Thank you for yor time and attention to my question!



a stitch in time said...

I get my threads from a silk mill, but they only offer the thin thread undyed and in quite substantial cones. However, I might be able to help you here - please mail me (katrin.kania(at)pallia.net) so we can discuss things off the blog!