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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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Wool Comparisons: 5 More for Your Consideration

 

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Today, let’s take a look at five different wool needlework threads that are available today, and line them up next to each other.

The five brands we’re going to look at are Array (we already covered this one in depth), Bella Lusso, ThreadWorx, Renaissance Dyeing, and Simply Wool.

Wool Needlework Thread Comparisons

You can see the five threads lined up together above. You can read an overview of all these threads in this previous article, where I introduced them. It will give you an idea of what they are and where they’re from.

All in all, they don’t look that different, except that Bella Lusso and Simply Wool look finer than the other three.

Keep in mind, too, that these photos are zoomed in a bit, so you can see detail on the threads. The disadvantage of that is that you don’t necessarily get a great view of the threads in “real life size context,” all together.

So the difference in weight of the threads (or thickness) comes across even more pronounced in these photos.

We aren’t going to talk specifically about the Array thread (in the bright green), because I already devoted a whole article to that thread, which you can ready about here. It’s just in the line up for the sake of comparison.

Wool Needlework Thread Comparisons

If you bunch them together – well, most of them, since the Simply Wool in the dark green isn’t in this photo above – they look more or less similar in size.

Still, you get the sense that the Bella Lusso (in blue) is slightly finer. It seems less fuzzy, and it has a longer, looser twist to it.

(I think this is a fun color combination, by the way, which is why I originally took the photo!)

Wool Needlework Thread Comparisons

Using the Bella Lusso in the blue as the constant in the following photos, you can see that it is indeed finer in unstitched weight than the ThreadWorx (pictured above)…

Wool Needlework Thread Comparisons

…than the Renaissance Dyeing (pictured above)…

Wool Needlework Thread Comparisons

…but not really finer in unstitched weight than the Simply Wool, which has a tighter twist and looks a bit finer than the Bella Lusso.

What’s strange, when lining these threads up individually against the Bella Lusso, is that ThreadWorx is apparently made from the same thread as Bella Lusso. (ThreadWorx and Bella Lusso are in the yellow-blue photo.) ThreadWorx is dyed Bella Lusso, from what I’ve read.

There can be several explanations for the obvious different in the threads as pictured here. For one thing, I’m not comparing every skein. The blue skein of Bella Lusso may not be representative of the whole line.

Another point: dyes affect threads differently.

Another point: handling affects threads differently.

And another point: if I’ve noticed nothing else in comparing all these wool threads, the one thing that sticks out is that no wool threads are absolutely consistent along any strand of wool taken from the skein. Eventually, along the wool, you will find thicker sections and thinner sections, fuzzier sections and smoother sections. This is the nature of wool threads.

But, interestingly, when it comes to stitching, they pretty much all stitch up more or less consistently to the average eye.

Wool Needlework Thread Comparisons

Keeping in mind, again, that these photos are zoomed in, you can see here that the Array (bright green) and the Renaissance Dyeing (coral) play out to be the heavier stitched lines.

Bella Lusso, ThreadWorx, and Simply Wool end up being more similar in weight and slightly finer than Array and Renaissance Dyeing.

Wool Needlework Thread Comparisons

Interestingly, both the Simply Wool (dark green on the bottom) and the Renaissance Dyeing (coral) thinned out towards the end of these short stitched rows.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t change anything in my method of stitching – I stitched all of these at the same time, over the same number of fabric threads, and (to my knowledge), they are consistent in tension.

Still, you never know if something might affect your thread tension without your realizing it. Maybe I started thinking about something else and lost my focus. Sometimes, the littlest things can change the way you’re doing something – conversation shifts, an audiobook becomes more interesting (or less), some music kicks in that lifts your mood (or lowers it) – anything like that can inadvertently affect your tension on your stitches. But I did make an effort to be consistent, and I’m pretty sure I was focused on that the whole time.

Anyway, these are very short lines of stitching. The thread didn’t have a chance, really, to correct itself, and coming at the end of these short lines, I think that slight variation in weight is more noticeable. In context, would it be as noticeable? I doubt it.

In a Nutshell

All of the above threads were pleasant enough to stitch with. Personally, I liked the Bella Lusso best.

But as we will see in our next installment comparing wool threads, the fine-ness of the Bella Lusso and the Simply Wool makes a big difference when you’re filling with those threads!

You can find more information on other wool embroidery threads and view more up-close comparisons of those threads here in this article index on the topic of Wool Embroidery Threads.

 
 

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