Monday, December 14, 2015

Want to Learn Needle Painting? Introduction to Threads

Traditionally, needle painting is done with silk or cotton floss, but for my little dog, I'm using Gloriana's Cashmere/Silk floss. This is a blend of cashmere and silk available in limited colors from Gloriana in 6 yard skeins.  I'm using "Silver Fox" which is a light gray and "Soft White" which is white.  If you want to try needle painting yourself, I recommend you use either cotton or silk floss, whatever you have at hand in the colors of your animal.  Cashmere/Silk is rather expensive for a beginner to play with, although you can't beat the luxurious sheen and softness.  It also only comes in a few colors: black, white, gray and brown.   By the way, one strand of Cashmere/Silk separates at the cut end into four plies, each of which can be further divided into half, giving you eight plies from one strand.  Whatever thread you choose, the ability to ply the thread is important to get the most realistic shading and definition of fur.

If you want a more wooly look, Gloriana has Lorikeet, which is all wool and strandable down to 9 plies.  It can be mixed with a ply of cotton or silk floss to add sheen and even more colors.

Burmilana is also a decent choice for needle painting, particularly on 13 count.  It cannot be plied so it isn't as useful on 18 count unless your animal is less realistic and more cartoonish.  However, there is a lovely range of colors and there is also the Heathered Burmilana, which is a sort of tweedy mix of colors.

Many other threads will work, but these are my favorites for animal fur.

Next time we'll talk about the main stitches we will use.  The links to each article on needle painting will go in the tab for the Needle Painting on Needlepoint Canvas Tutorial so you can read them in turn without having to search Blog.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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