Friday, April 30, 2010

Focus On: Crystal Braid

Crystal Braid is a wonderful thread available from Rainbow Gallery. It comes on cards in 10 yard lengths. The thread is 55% nylon and 45% polyester. It comes in 14 colors and is manufactuired in Japan. We carry the entire line at Rittenhouse Needlepoint.

Crystal Braid is intended for use with 18 mesh canvas. One strand of Crystal Braid is equivalent in size to one strand of #5 pearl cotton. Crystal Braid is also equivalent to Kreinik Braid #12 (tapestry weight) -- both consist of 12 strands of metallic thread braided together.

According to The Thread Thesaurus, Rev. Ed., the great strength of Crystal Braid is its "unique icy pearl look that shimmers" (p. 40). The thread also does not fray easily. It can be used anywhere you would use Kreinik Metallic Braid #12 and it is much easier to handle than Kreinik Braid being softer and more pliable.

Suggested stitches for use with Crystal Braid include Parisian Stripe (clothing -- top left), Chottie's Plaid (background -- middle left) and Hesitation (for both clothing and background -- lower left). I would also consider using Crystal Braid when depicting snow or a starry night.

The range of colors is appealing -- strong in pastels, especially greens.

Consider using Crystal Braid in your next project. You won't be disappointed.

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