I got a bit side-tracked with show preparation, but I have a few more things to say about thread selection. When I go to the trade shows I’m bombarded with new threads. Sometimes it’s a bit of overload! The colors, the textures – I’d love to design with all of them. I’ve had to impose some limits on what I choose to design with as far as specialty threads.
First, is it from a company that’s been around for awhile? Kreinik, Rainbow Gallery, Caron Collection, Crescent Colours, Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Arts Sampler Threads – these are all companies that have been around and will stay around, so I can use their threads with confidence. The dye lots (usually) are pretty consistent. The threads are readily available in most areas of the country. And, from a business perspective, they are easy to work with, both on my side of the equation and the retailer side.
Second, does the company have something to offer that no one else does? Rainbow Gallery has textures that no one else is offering, so I use a lot of Rainbow Gallery threads in my designs to get the textures I want. At the trade shows, I’ve also run across some other threads that were spectacular and just itching to get into one of my designs. Divine Threads from the quilting market has a line of gorgeous hand-dyed rayon pearls that I had to use in a design. In fact, I designed Marilyn’s Garden specifically for these rayon pearls, and that’s all that’s in the design. I’ve also used them in a few other designs. When I do that I make a thread pack available to the retailers so they don’t have to open an account with yet another supplier. That gives me the freedom to use a specialty thread without the fear that the retailer won’t get the thread for the end user, the stitcher.
At another show Stitches and Spice from Australia introduced a single filament overdyed silk, unlike any other silk. Well, I’m a sucker for silk, and this was a different texture. So of course I had to have some. This beautiful silk was most recently used in Glitz & Glamour Opal, but I also used it in Glitz & Glamour Morganite as well. The colors are soft and subtle, the feel heavenly, and the texture glorious. It is a bit tricky to work with, but worth it for the finished result.
As long as I can make the specialty threads available to the retailers in a thread pack, I have the freedom to use unusual threads I run across to add the extra touch of texture to my designs.
Next time – my new favorite thread line!