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: Mulberry Silks


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The thread junkie in me can’t resist sharing this gorgeous palette of silk embroidery threads with you.

It’s just so … autumny.

I don’t think “autumny” is a word. But look:

Mulberry Silks Embroidery Thread

“Autumny” works!

This is a collection from Mulberry Silks, a company located in the Cotswolds in England.

Mulberry Silks Embroidery Thread

This particular palette of fine weight silk (all hand wound on little paper tubes) is called “Goldwork.” It’s for couching metal threads. You can imagine the beautiful effects you could get in Or Nué using a palette like this for couching passing threads.

Mulberry Silks Embroidery Thread

Each tube of thread holds 15 meters, and there are 7 tubes altogether.

The other day, I found myself meandering hither and yon all over the Mulberry Silks website, picking out favorite palettes. For example, in the Connoisseur category, there’s a series of silks called “A Cotswold Year” – four palettes, one for each season, each comprised of 19 colors of silk in assorted weights, in both matt and shiny. I. Love. Them.

Then there’s Aegean. *Sigh*

Under Christmas Packs, you’ll find quite a selection of beautiful palettes, perfectly named. I put every single one of them on my Wish List! I’m not sure if it was the names, the colors, the correlation between the names and the colors – for some reason, these palettes charmed me.

Mulberry Silks Embroidery Thread

But, back to my warm, lovely little thread palette here – a happy gift from a friend! These are relatively fine silks, tightly twisted (I’ve only seen the fine weight up close), and suitable, yes, for couching, but also for all kinds of surface embroidery, crazy quilting, and the like.

I’m getting ready to test it out for tambour work. I suspect these threads will work very nicely with the tambour needle!

There’s a collection at Mulberry Silks (Antique Linen in both fine and medium weights) that I think would make a glorious “not quite whitework” project on a combination of tulle and fabric, using a combination of tambour stitching and regular surface stitching. My mind is a-whir with the possibilities!

Well, I’m a thread junkie. I admit it.

I’m not convinced I want to recover from the addiction, though!

I hope your week is going well so far!


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(28) Comments

  1. Glad you have found and loved Mulberry silks. i think it is the combination packs that send me into heaven. And they certainly do shine out from embroidery wor.

  2. Hi Mary! Yes, they are lovely. I’ve seen them several times at stitching shows in the UK and was disappointed to see that they weren’t at the Harrogate Show last weekend. I bought a pack of their silk fabrics once and it came with a price list on which was a sample of each gauge of thread. I haven’t bought any though because, frankly, I already own far too much thread and also I have no immediate project in mind for them, but they are lovely….=)

  3. Dear Mary

    What lovely threads I’ve just been on their website and the threads look lovely. As you know I love silk and Mulberry have a great selection I will look into buying some and trying them out but which colours”sigh” so many to choose from lovely. Thanks for sharing the link to such lovely silk thread colours and I can buy them in the UK which is a bonus.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  4. Oh Mary,
    I too have been seduced by Mulberry Silks, the quality of the threads are second to none, and the colours are enough to lighten the darkest winter days. I’ve been using the silks for a while and the lovely, lovely lady who runs Mulberry Silks is just wonderful, she really offers excellent service. I would heartily recommend the company, although I’m a little nearer in Ireland, its so easy to deal with them.

  5. I hope you’ll try them very soon with tambour needle to tell us how easy (or not…) their use is ! I would LOVE to work with silk, but I’m still not confident enough to switch form my ordinary cotton thread…

  6. New Threads!! literally! This makes me happy. I, too, am a thread junkie. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that I have a “thread closet” (one of the walk-in closets was totally donated). So I will check into Mulberry Threads, too. Regarding tambour work, I have been practicing and need a LOT more practice. My big trouble (I think) is knowing how/when to manage the tension AND I keep splitting the thread somehow when I try and bring the loop to the top. Any suggestions?

  7. Mulberry Silks are lovely to work with – I have the blackwork set and I love them, but the colour sets are glorious and the autumn one really calls to me. The trouble I always have is deciding which one to choose.

  8. Gorgeous, lustrous threads! What a great resource. My mind’s churning over ideas too. I especially liked the larger collection of white silks of different shades and weights. Glorious.

  9. Oh Mary,
    Hubs’ is threatening to block your site….the reason?
    Welllllll….since i read your mail this evening, i have been glued to “Mulberry Silks”….and he is slightly concerned by my drooling, sighing and generally enraptured squeaks!!
    Such rich colours! Such delicate colours!…I am in LOVE!!

  10. Oh dear, Mary. What a wonderful site. I had a coffee and then …. well I had a great time. Thankyou for the information. More to add to the 1 day wish list.

  11. Oh, what a sweet addiction. Threads of all types and colors. I too am hooked on threads. If I ever win the lottery (guess I should buy a ticket first), I would go to my LNS and buy 2 of everything they have there. I’d be very happy and so would they. LOL

    Please don’t “waste” these beautiful fibers on couching. Use them in some project where they’ll shine on their own.

  12. Hi Mary,
    These are my very favourite threads and I use them almost exclusively. The range of colours and sizes/weights is amazing. The quality is beautiful. I shall be interested to see how they work with your tambour work, I am sure they will work well. I love them for stumpwork, needlelace and also for hand quilting as well as a large range of stitching. Patricia Woods is a lovely lady and is always so helpful. I usually try to arrange my trips to the UK around a time when she will be at a venue that I can get to; there is nothing quite like seeing all her threads in person.
    I know you will enjoy them.

  13. Aren’t they glorious threads? I just love them too, but as they are a tad pricey (in comparison with other silks, not for what they are) I tend not to use them. I have a couple of sets which I am happy to adore with my eyes only. Your autumn-y set is gorgeous Mary, I am feeling a visit to the website which is as close as I get is in order.

  14. G’day Mary,
    You must have caused a stampede to Mulberry threads. This was the message just now when I tried to look-see. I’m not a computer wiz and it seems back the front but it might be because of extra use today. Or might simply be coincidence….
    ‘The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.’ Which I certainly will, being tempted by the glorious ‘Autumny’ mix.
    You know, I like the word as is but if you put Autumn-y, spell check accepts it. I’ve noticed a lot of words are accepted and suggested with ‘-y’ on the end instead of just adding ‘y’. Y? Dunno! Looks a bit posh to me!
    Cheers, Kath.

    1. Well, I’ve stayed up ’till 5a.m. here waiting to get into this site and boy, was it worth it! No, just trickin’. About waiting up that is. I decided to have a quick look to see if I could get on the site while I was up to answer natures call. So many exciting combinations. I was trying to remember so many favourites as I looked through that my memory timed out, like… ‘The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.’ !

  15. Those threads are Gorgeous!

    Autumny is a way better new addition to the language than t w e r k i n g 🙂 . On a more serious note – language is full of words that didn’t used to exist. And full of those no longer in common use.

  16. How absolutely gorgeous. I’m definitely drooling. Maybe if ever even approach your skill level, I’ll be able to spring for these. But right now, the shipping (I’m in the US) is daunting.

    Thanks so much for showing them to us. They are really wonderful.

  17. I just adore Mulberry silks, they are my go-to thread. I prefer the Medium, it has an awesome sheen, and it embroiders up quickly. And I love how the palettes can give a purect that necessary bit of inspiration to get off the ground, though I do have several packs that have been gently maturing in my stash trying to decide what they want to be. The mini-topics and topics make great pressies, too! And Patricia is lovely!

  18. Is this thread strong? I ordered mulberry silk from a chinese website, and it’s so soft and irregular that I cant even wind it onto a floss holder

    1. Hi, Ula – This Mulberry Silks is a thread company in the UK, and the thread is quite nice. There are different weights and types of silk – spun silk, filament silk, twisted, flat, etc. – and so it really depends what type of silk you’re looking for, as far as strength. In general, though, embroidery silk ordered straight from China – off eBay and similar places – doesn’t enjoy a high level of quality control. So that could be the difficulty with the silk you ordered. It wouldn’t have been the same silk, as “Mulberry Silks” is the actual name of this company in the UK, whereas “mulberry silk” is a generic term for silk made from the silk moth (which eats mulberry leaves).

  19. Mary,

    I hope you see my question on an old post.
    Am I foolhardy to think I could use a silk thread on a cutwork design?
    What about a Hardanger design?

    And finally, if either of those uses garnered a YES from you, what silk thread would you recommend?

    Afraid of silk (no, no…just the expense!),


    1. You *could*, but it’s not the normal thread to use for that type of stitching. It really depends on what you intend to use your cutwork for. Are you planning on laundering it? That type of consideration can influence the type of thread you choose to use. If I were using silk for that type of embroidery, I’d probably look for a buttonhole silk – which opens a whole new can of worms. It’s much different to stitch with, it’s more difficult to get a firm, tight stitch with certain types of stitches. But it is the silk that has a twisted structure that would be more sturdy for edges and so forth.

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