A couple readers have contacted me about Pearsall’s filoselle embroidery silk, looking for a resource in the US. Pearsall’s is from England, and has a long history, dating from the 1790’s. It’s a twisted filament silk with a relatively high sheen, and it comes in a 6-ply strand of 4 meters.
When I purchased Pearsall’s filoselle embroidery silk, it was through a supplier in the UK from whom I was purchasing other supplies. Good news – there is a supplier in the US. You can purchase Pearsall’s – approximately 350 shades in 75 color categories – from An Itch to Stitch.
An Itch to Stitch is a website devoted primarily to needlepoint. They have an online shop that offers needlepoint canvases, kits, tools, and accessories, as well as the full range of Pearsall’s filoselle.
While I have not personally ordered from An Itch to Stitch, I have been in contact with them. They try to fill orders as quickly as they receive them. At any one time, they generally have all colors in stock, unless there’s been a “run” on a specific color, which they will order for a quick replacement. Their resupply is usually over night, so there shouldn’t be any super-long wait for any color they might not have in stock.
Each skein or twist of 4 meters runs about $4.25 each. Occasionally, some of the colors are on sale for $2.25.
Pearsall’s is good silk for needlepainting techniques, since it provides a full range of subtle shades. I’ve used it just a few times, and I like it. It’s somewhat “bouncy,” but easy to stitch with.
I know Needle In a Haystack also carried Pearsall’s once upon a time, but it looks as if they have discontinued it.
There’s another purveyor located in Washington state, but they sell small packs of four related colors, each cut into a one-yard length for $6.00 a pack. To me, this doesn’t seem like that great of a deal, unless you just want to try it, or are building a stash of small amounts of multiple colors.
So, if you’re a Pearsall’s user or if you want to check out yet one more kind of silk, then take a look at An Itch to Stitch.
Have fun with it!
Update 2017: Pearsall’s is no longer manufacturing their silk.