Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Where to Find Silk Couching Thread


I received a couple e-mails asking where I found my silk couching thread. I thought I would answer that here, in case others are looking for good silk couching thread.

There are a variety of threads I use for couching metal threads. Which one I use is determined by a couple things: what’s easily on hand without having to dig through supplies, what type of thread I’m couching and what it’s made out of, and finally, what I want the finished product to look like. I sadly admit that often, convenience plays a big role in what couching thread I happen to use! Normally, I keep a spool or two in my work basket, but sometimes, I have to dig for the right thread!

Kreinik silk couching thread: This is a gold-colored thread, size 0. It’s a smoother thread than Soie 100/3, and has more of a shine to it. I like it because, when I’m couching smooth passing thread, the color and shine blend in with the thread.

You can find the Kreinik silk couching thread online at the Kreinik mall. Kreinik’s regular website is no longer used for retail sales, so you have to go to their shopping website, which is called the Kreinik Mall. It’s kind of a strange set-up – you’re required to select a store listed, then browse their inventory! But anyway, here’s a link for Kreinik silk couching thread through the Kreinik mall.

Soie 100/3 in light gold or dark gold: this is an excellent couching thread, but it’s a bit thicker than the Kreinik, and it isn’t as shiny. It comes in a variety of colors, but for couching gold, I like the light gold or the dark gold. The dark gold looks best, I think, with 2% gold threads, while the light gold looks better with gilt threads. Because it’s a bit thicker than Kreinik, I don’t use it for finer sizes of pearl purl (it tends to show, and sometimes, it really moves the pearls apart), and I don’t use it for finer sizes of twists (like Elizabethan twist…)

For Soie 100/3, you can purchase it at any fine needlework shop that carries the Au Ver a Soie silk threads. Online, the following places carry this silk: Hedgehog Handworks, Berlin Embroidery (in all the colors for couching metal threads), Needle in a Haystack, etc.

Tire Silk: this is a new thread for me, but after using it a bit on the latest samples of goldwork, I really LIKE it a LOT! I think it may end up being my favorite thread for couching! It’s called “Machine Twist (50 weight),” and it comes in a nice darkish gold. You can also find even a finer weight Tire Silk (100 weight), which I’d like to try for the really fine gold threads, like Elizabethan twist. I’ve put it on my wishlist.

If you want to try Tire Silk, visit Silk Things, where you can see the different types of silk they offer, and purchase whatever kind you want. On the link there, you’ll need to scroll about halfway down the page to find the 50 wt Machine Twist. Besides machine threads, they carry some hand embroidery threads, which I’d also like to try…. one of these days!

So those are the types of silk couching thread I use and some of the places you can find them. I’ve used polyester for couching as well. There’s a yellow one that looks just like the Soie 100/3, but a little brighter. But I’ve found I prefer the silk. And a little goes a long way, so it isn’t that much of an investment.

On a final note, vacation is over – real work begins again. I had so much I wanted to accomplish these past three weeks, and, although I accomplished quite a bit, I didn’t get nearly the amount of work done on the website that I wanted to! Well, it isn’t the end of the world. After all, that’s what weekends are made for, right?!!


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(1) Comments

  1. Thanks for the sources!

    Tire silk even finer than 50 weight??!! Wow. I’d like to see that! I’ve noticed that, as f
    ilament silk, tire is considerably stronger than other couching threads. (Didn’t you posted once about spun vs. filament silk?)

    I have some Soie 100/3 that came in a goldwork kit, but it looked so very FAT that I used Gutermann instead.
    I’ve found that Gutermann #488 (dark) and #855 (light)work pretty well. They’re just polyester, but they feel and act like cotton. I use them with the thicker Japanese threads or waxed when the couching thread doesn’t show – i.e. sewing purl chips.


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