How to use thread types to make an area stand out.

There are many ways to accentuate a particular area of a canvas. Color is one. Some colors are simply more dominant than others. You know the type. Red and Pink scream at you while green tends to be more subdued.  

screaming woman

You can always change the color to make an area more dominant.  But a pink chipmunk somehow doesn't ring true. 

pink squirrel

The same is true of thread types.  Glittery fibers like Kreinik stand out (use of Kreinik will be addressed in another chapter).  But how do we use our favorite threads to accentuate an area of our canvas?

Different thread types: cotton, silk & wool

We have 3 basic thread types – wool, silk & cotton floss.   Each fiber has a different feel when using, and a different look on the canvas. Wool can look fuzzy; silk has a gloss. Cotton tends to have a flat, but consistent look. (From top to bottom - Pepper Pot Silk, Planet Earth silks, Planet Earth Wool, DMC cotton floss.)

making merry
If you want to get adventurous with your canvas, try mixing thread types.

Here is the best approach to use in accentuating a particular area with thread types.

First, pick the area you want to accentuate.

Calendar Cat by Charlie Harper
Charlie Harper - Calendar Cat

Lets start with this Charlie Harper canvas – Calendar cat 7 x 7 on 18 mesh. The Cat is the main attraction. That should be your focus.

charlie harper calendar cat with different colors
You don't want the background to dominate, even though its a darker color.  Stitch the cat in a wool thread – Since we use Bella Lusso for 18 mesh – double strand the thread.  The next most dominating feature are the scattered flowers. I’d do those in silk, using Pepper Pot silks—perfect for 18 mesh. Finally, I’d use cotton for the background – and ply it down to 2 strands rather than 3-4. You’ll get the same bright colors, just less volume.

  Charlie Harper Foxsimilies

Now if you have something more complicated, like Foxsimiles by Charlie Harper, especially if it’s on 13 mesh, it becomes more fun.

Again, pick your focus – the foxes. Planet Earth wool is perfect for those. The flowers -- you want them thick again so that they’re raised above the background. Use Planet Earth silk. The silk has a little shine the wool doesn’t give and it’s thicker than the pepper pot silks.  The Black and the green background should be less dominant – you can use the thinner pepper pot silks, usually reserved for 18 mesh canvas, or cotton floss plied down to 3 strands. But what would I do?   I’d use cotton for the black – plied down to 3 strands and Pepper pot silk for the green areas.

Making Merry by UniqueNZ Designs

In the Making Merry 4" round by UniqueNZ Designs we used all of the fibers just to show you it's possible, even in a small space.   Planet Earth silk for the pink flower; Planet Earth Wool for the white center with Pepper pot silk for the filament & anther in black; Pepper Pot silk for the pink and green leaves; DMC cotton floss for the yellow background.

And how will you know which to use in each area -- simple, just ask, we'll tell you.

OK – So now I have you interested, but how do you go about ordering a project with mixed thread types. Well, you can always call or email us – and just in case you've forgotten - 877-772-8463;   And, if you’re very set on which type of thread you want in a particular place – that’s probably the best method.

Or, you can do it on line.   We tried to make it simple, but it wasn’t easy. We just couldn’t add a bullet for mixed thread types for each design. But, we’ve reduced it to one extra step – well for you at least. 

First, decide on your canvas and the types of thread combinations you want – cotton & wool, cotton & silk, wool & silk, or all 3.  Click on the page with the canvas and use the tool bar at "options" to pick your thread.

purchasing on needlepoint-for-fun
Now when buying the canvas pick canvas & silks on your “options”--- yes even if you don’t want silk thread. That step should be the same.  

purchasing kitted canvas with needlepointforfun
Once you’ve added this item to your cart, go back to top of the page as if buying another item. Go to “ACCESSORIES” and pick Threads at the bottom of the list.

picking mixed threads with needlepoint-for-fun
Now click on the picture with the 4 thread types,

purchasing threads with needlepoint-for-fun

and choose the combination you want: cw – cotton and wool, cs – cotton and silk, ws – wool and silk, or all three. Add it to your cart. When we get your order we will process the different types of threads.

So, you ask, what if I kit a lot of cotton-- like the Charlie Harper Calendar cat . You’re paying $20.00 more under the “canvas & silk” category. True, and if we kit more cotton than other threads, we will give you a credit once we kit the project. And, it’s just Trish & Pat doing the kitting – there are no elves or dozens of highly paid thread pullers searching for you.

And what do I do if I want to kit several canvases with different combinations? Well, you just may be getting a call or an email to confirm your selections – or trust us with the combination.

Finally, you have nothing to lose. If you don’t like working with different types of threads, send back the unused thread & we’ll substitute it for what you like.