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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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Thread Talk: Cosmo Sparkling Thread!

 

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I must be part crow. I looooove sparklies.

When I see things that sparkle, I go googly-eyed and say things like, Oooooh, a Sparkly!

(In case the reference is lost on you – and you’re interested in visiting a childhood moment of mine – check out this Sparkly scene from Secret of Nimh. The reference is about 28 seconds into the video.)

When it comes to things that sparkle, you can call me Jeremy.

Well, along the lines of sparkly things, Cosmo – the Japanese company that produces this embroidery floss – has introduced a new metallic thread onto the market, and I had the opportunity to play with it a bit last week. Today, I’ll show it to you – in case you’re a fan of Sparklies, too!

Cosmo Sparkling Thread

Cosmo Sparkling Thread is available in only a few colors – seven, to be exact, although only six are shown here: a salmony orange, black, kind of a pinky crimson, white, champagne or gold, a glorious blue, and a light rosy pink (not shown). The blue is by far my favorite!

Cosmo Sparkling Thread

The reason the blue is out of the skein – I used it. Quite a bit of it!

The thread skein comes apart just like this skein of coton a broder – it’s not a pull skein. So when I first open a skein, I undo the loops and cut the skein in half next to the knot, resulting in about 18″ lengths of thread. But then I end up with these long strands of thread that need to be tamed a bit, so I fold them in half and twist them together for safe keeping. Hence, the twist in the photo above.

Cosmo Sparkling Thread

Cosmo sparkling thread is non-divisible. It comes off the hank in the single thread that you stitch with. Each strand is about the thickness of two strands of regular embroidery floss. It’s a fairly fine metallic thread.

Cosmo Sparkling Thread

Although I tend to get weak in the knees over sparkly things, I have to admit, I’m not generally a huge fan of metallic embroidery threads. There are very few that I like to use.

Bijoux is one, and I use it as a blending filament or on its own, sometimes doubled or tripled. It’s a good thread that really holds up to stitching in surface embroidery and other needlework.

I also like DMC Diamant. It’s another metallic that holds up to surface embroidery well.

So you see, I’m picky about metallic embroidery threads. If they offer the user a smooth, trouble-free experience with minimum control efforts while stitching, then I generally like them.

But most readily-available metallics don’t do this – they require more extreme measures (very short lengths, the use of Thread Heaven, specific methods of securing the thread in the eye of the needle, and so forth and so on…), and still, they fray and break and knot. I don’t like threads that frustrate stitchers, because frustrating threads can turn a newbie off embroidery faster than anything else.

Do Cosmo Sparkling Threads pass my frustration test? Yes, in fact, they do! They stand up well to surface embroidery stitches, passing through tightly woven ground fabrics, manipulating around the loops and movements of surface stitchery. They’re nice to work with!

Cosmo Sparkling Thread

In fact, I put them to the test with shisha mirrors – the real glass ones. The thread held up, despite stitching over the edge of the glass mirror.

The blue is magnificent with the glass, if you’re looking for an icy, sparkly, wintery look!

Cosmo Sparkling Thread

Because the metallic thread is fine and it doesn’t plump up, you get a wispier, lacier look to the stitching, as opposed to the chunky look of perle cottons and the like.

Where can you find Cosmo Sparkling Thread?

You can find Cosmo Sparkling Thread online, through Anita’s Little Stitches, where the price is 35 cents less per skein than the standard $6 at other stores. I’ve not seen it around much, but I know Anita has it.

I’m not sure where it is available in other countries. If you know of needlework shops that carry Cosmo embroidery floss, then you can most likely special order it if they don’t regularly stock it.

That’s today’s thread chat!

I’m working on color matching some embroidery threads to an old piece, for a work of restoration and new construction. I’ll share my experiences so far – and some photos – tomorrow! See you then!

 
 

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(11) Comments

  1. I bought a set of all seven through The Workroom, out of Toronto. I do not recall the cost for it, but do remember the threads were less expensive when purchased as a set. I have only used them here and there, and really, they are my first experience with metallic threads. I can’t say I would rush out to buy more but will use what I have on hand.

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  2. That is a nice looking thread. I like the way you used it on a mirror. It has a nice glitter to it and would look great with other threads too I think. It’s a pretty holiday look. It should come in green for Christmas use.

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  3. Dear Mary

    Like you I don’t like metallic thread but these look lovely as you say sparkly! and what a brillant idea to create Shisha using this thread. I know I keep saying this but I do like Shisha mirrors and other objects, I like the idea of shells in Shisha. Thanks for sharing this with us so interesting.

    I’ve just looked for them and Etsy sell them at £3.52 for a 10 meter skein but from America so might as well order them from Anita’s Little Stitches @ £3.54 for 10 meter skeins, but on top of that theres postage cost.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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  4. Dear Mary,
    The Cosmos look lovely and I’d love to use them next time I get the chance I may order me some. I like the word you use ‘sparkley’ can’t say I’ve seen the Secret of Nimh but I do have a similar phrase I use. It’s from the t.v. show Firefly, loved it, they use the word ‘shiny’ for just about everything that’s nice and now well I tend to use that word myself sometimes.
    Keep up the good work Mary.

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  5. I love reading your articles on threads and other materials used in the craft. I love the look of metallic threads but HATE working with them. This summer I did a fireworks piece entirely in metallics & vowed never again. I love the results but it was so aggravating dealing with all the thread issues. Now whenever I open my thread stash & see those beautiful shiny threads my lip instantly curls into its best Billy Idol sneer.

    I may give metallics another shot once I can get my hands on this brand or one of the others you mentioned. It would be nice to put some sparkly into projects without frustration. (Btw your sparkly comment totally made me think of NIHM & now I want to watch it!)

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  6. Hi Mary,

    I love this thread too! I used it on my January Reflections piece to add sparkle to the trunk of my tree and to the snow. It was fabulous. Did not deteriorate at all with many passes through multiple layers of fabric. I bought it at a quilt show and haven’t been able to find it since so I am SOOO grateful for your source today. As an aside, my favorite metallic thread is YLI for machine embroidery. It’s just plain terrific. Thanks for another great post. Your rock!!

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  7. I’m a bit of a maniac when it comes to sparkles: metallic threads and beads. Even if a pattern doesn’t call for them, I manage to work some in. I’ve never heard of this thread before. I use Kreinik often enough but then fell in love with Rainbow Gallery. More flexible and easier to use. I wonder if my LNS would be willing to order a bit of this one. Although at that price, it might not be practical for them to do. I don’t shop online so I can only hope they’d be willing to stock something new.

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  8. Dear Mary.
    Thanks a lot for shisha stitch Tutorial. It is as precise as any other tutorial of yours. I have been looking and searching for different kind of shisha stitches. At present I know atleast 8-9 types of different shisha stitches which i learnt from various online tutorials. Now I am looking for Kutch (Gujarat – India) shisha stitch which is a very decorative stitch. Thanks a lot for all the effort you put in to provide tutorials for embroidery lovers.
    Regards,
    Bharti Tripathi

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