Secrets of Blending Filament revealed!
Blending Filament is a one-of-a-kind thread that gives you a unique effect in your stitching. "There is nothing that can add more sparkle and pizzazz to your cross stitch than blending filament," says stitcher Bonnie Morrow. The hint of metallic adds light, interest and a 3-D effect. Is your project looking dull or flat? Blending Filament adds visual flavor without being over-the-top, just like a little spice adds flavor to your cooking.
One myth about Blending Filament is that it's difficult to use. While it may seem crazy to stitch with something akin to Christmas tree tinsel, the truth is that when you follow a few steps, it's not so hard. After all, a little time and effort IS worth the amazing results, whether you're starting a diet, crocheting an afghan, constructing a building, or adding sparkle to a stitched angel.
If you don't know how to use Blending Filament or if you get frustrated while using it, read on. Just a few tips will put the *sparkle * in your eyes.
5 Truths about Blending Filament
- It is actually two threads: the metallic part, and a thin string wound "within" the metallic that lends support. You may notice these two threads at the end of your Blending Filament, where they separate slightly. Any "frayed" ends can be hidden into your stitches as you start and stop, or clipped off once your starting point is secured. If the separation bothers you, use a product called Fray Check to seal the end.
- You CAN stitch with Blending Filament without the core string. Officially, we don't recommend it because it can make the filament prone to static and breaking. However, stitchers and designers tell us they occasionally remove the core from the flatter Hi Lustre colors and just take extra care to reduce static and breaking. So if the core REALLY bothers you, carefully separate it from the metallic and proceed with stitching.
- It is made of a different material than cotton floss. It may sound obvious, but sometimes we expect all thread types to behave the same way — and most of us hate to slow down. Blending Filament has a different consistency and thus requires more patience. You cannot stitch as quickly with it as you can cotton floss because of the slippery-ness of the metallic material. That's the nature of the unique filament. If it continuously slips off your needle while you're stitching, knot it to the needle.
- It's a delicate material, which is why some stitchers may find that it snaps or stretches. Blending Filament is a thin polyester material with slight elasticity. It is not as strong as silk. If your filament breaks or stretches while you are stitching, just adjust your tension (relax). This applies whether you are using Blending Filament for hand or machine embroidery.
- If you prefer, you can use Blending Filament by itself, rather than combined with cotton floss in one needle. Blending Filament was designed to be combined with another thread type; that is what produces the random metallic effect in a design. However, if you don't like stitching with two different threads at once, then don't. Simply stitch your area in one type first (like cotton floss), then overstitch with Blending Filament by itself. It may sound like double work, but actually this is the easiest way to control the filament, control how much highlight or shimmer you want in your design, and control exactly where you want it. This way, you're the one in control, not the thread.
10 Things you May Not Know About Blending Filament
- How do you get it started? The thread end is secured in a notch in the spool. Unwind the thread from the notch to start, and when you're done, secure the end in the notch again.
- How do you control it? Stitch slowly and use short lengths, which are easier to manage.
- Why did the designer call for it? It adds a SUBTLE metallic shimmer that makes a design more realistic or interesting. Use it in a design to replicate anything shiny in nature, or to add a HINT of whimsy, visual interest, and "bling."
- Is Balger the same as Blending Filament? "Balger" was the name Kreinik used when it started manufacturing threads in the 1970s. We've gone beyond Blending Filament with many thread types now, so we use distinct names, like Very Fine #4 Braid. Blending Filament refers to our thinnest, tinsel- or cord-like metallic threads.
- How many colors? Blending Filament comes in basic metallic, glow-in-the-dark, vintage, corded, and hi lustre colors. The hi lustre and vintage versions are flat for maximum light exposure. All together, we have over 100 Blending Filament colors available to you and designers.
- Blending Filament can be affected by humidity. Is your climate very dry? Then your filament may have more static in it as you stitch. Some stitchers recommend using a product called Thread Heaven, or a slightly damp cosmetic sponge, to "tame" flyaway filament.
- Don't try to use more than 2 strands of Blending Filament in one needle. There's just no need to. If you want a bolder metallic look, simply move up to a thicker thread, like Very Fine #4 Braid. Braid is used by itself rather than combined with another thread type in one needle.
- It's not just for cross stitch and needlepoint. Its thinness and blending qualities make it useful in tatting, crochet, knitting, crazy quilting, fly fishing, collage art, even stitching on paper.
- It's ideal for punchneedle. Use Blending Filament by itself in a 1-strand needle, or 1 strand of Blending Filament + 1 strand of cotton or silk floss in a 3-strand needle.
- Blending Filament is sold worldwide. From Australia to Alaska, South Africa to Saskatchewan and everywhere in between, Blending Filament is used by creative people everywhere. Kreinik has a US and international Store Locator listing on www.kreinik.com.