Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (19) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Hand Embroidery: Lettering and Text 13: With Treenway Silk


Amazon Books

For the next word on my hand embroidered lettering sampler, I’m using a wonderful silk by Treenway Silk out of Canada, and I’m revisiting the whipped backstitch for the letters, because I like the resulting chunky-twistiness of it when worked with this silk.

In the fifth lesson of this series of tutorials on hand embroidered lettering, I addressed the whipped backstitch for producing a fine, tiny line for little letters. If you change your thread to something a bit heavier, though, you can change the look of the whipped backstitch considerably!

Hand Embroidered Lettering and Text with Treenway Silk

Treenway silk “cord” (I don’t know why they call it that) is similar to about a #8 pearl cotton. It reminds me a lot of some silk buttonhole twists, but I think it actually may be slightly heavier, and perhaps slightly softer in its twist.

Hand Embroidered Lettering and Text with Treenway Silk

Anyway, whatever the case, it’s a beautiful thread. It’s a bit boingy, though, so you might straighten it before stitching. I like to do this over the spout of a whistling tea kettle. Just hold the silk in both hands, pulling slightly, and move it back and forth in the steam. It’ll relax the kinks almost immediately. As far as “kinks” go, though, this thread isn’t too bad – if you don’t do anything to it to help it relax, you can solve any twisting problems as you stitch by letting your needle dangle so the thread can untwist itself. None of this is said to intimidate you from trying this thread, though – like I said, it’s a beautiful thread!

Hand Embroidered Lettering and Text with Treenway Silk

I’m working on the large “Quick” on the top right corner of the sampler. I wanted to use a thread that’s somewhat dark, since this is the boundary of the piece. Since the letters are large, and since this thread is a somewhat heavier thread, the whipped backstitch makes a nice bold letter here. And I like the way the thread twists and untwists with the stitch. I like the very-slightly-wiggly-look.

Hand Embroidered Lettering and Text with Treenway Silk

To keep your thread twisting in the same direction, you might have to turn your hoop and work upside down now and then. All of this is explained in Lesson 5 of this series of tutorials. You can also read my notes about the importance of stitch direction with whipped stitches, if you are curious about stitch direction.

Hand Embroidered Lettering and Text with Treenway Silk

There’s a little nubby thing going on with the U there, and I’ll probably have to pick that out. With thicker threads, it’s sometimes difficult to join the intersections in the letters smoothly. But I didn’t notice that, really, until just now!

Hand Embroidered Lettering and Text with Treenway Silk

And here’s the sampler so far!

If you’re looking for Treenway Silk, you can find it at Nordic Needle, where you’ll find the thread accompanied by gorgeous overdyed silk ribbon that matches the various colors. Well, you already know I’m a sucker for threads – but when I see this beautiful thread paired with its ribbon counterpart, I melt! It is Really Pretty.

If you’re looking for more tutorials on hand embroidered lettering and text, you can visit the index for this series of tutorials, where you’ll find all 12 previous articles on the topic, full of step-by-step directions on how to write with your needle and thread!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(4) Comments

  1. Oh Yes! I know that Treenway Silk thread Aussie Greens and the matching silk ribbon, thanks to you!LOL!
    I've already used the thread and it's lovely embroidering with it. The ribbon I didn't try yet.

    This sampler is beautiful! I'm colecting…

  2. The thread is so beautiful with a prominent twist. I imagine its' beauty would showcase well done in satin stitch. Have you already done that in another project? I thougt I remembered your having used the thread for something prior to this?

  3. P.S. I just purchased the thread & ribbon set from Nordic Needle since it looks so gorgeous on your sampler. Not sure what I'll do with it yet, though!

  4. Hi, Meri! I think you'll like stitching with the Treenway silk when you get a chance – it's Nice Stuff!

    Hi, Laura! Actually, I've shown the thread before, but I don't think I've done any "real" stitching with it (that is, any stitching that has some sort of purpose attached). I might have taken a few stitches with it by way of demonstration, but this is actually the first time I've embroidered anything with it. Not that the letters are much…..! I think it would make a BEAUTIFUL satin stitch, or any closed stitch, like fishbone, etc.

    Glad to hear you took the plunge – I'll be eager to hear what you think of the thread. I love their coral and yellow dye combos, by the way!


More Comments