Finishes in Kreinik Metallics

June 8, 2016Threads Standard

Metallic needlepoint thread from Kreinik is justly popular among stitchers. There are so many sizes and colors, you can stitch and entire piece in metallics and still get lots of variation in shading.

But often it’s confusing to understand the finishes of this line and what the letters after the numbers mean.

Here’s a quick rundown of different Kreinik metallic needlepoint thread.

All Kreinik metallic braids (all numbers but those ending in “C”) are made from polyester metallic. If you examine them closely, you will see that there are non-metallic threads in a base color braided with the metallic threads in one or more colors. The presence of the base threads helps to make the braid very soft. The use of polyester metallics instead of real metal keeps the thread from tarnishing.

They also have a number, either 3 or 4 digits long. Sometimes the number series indicates a particular group of thread. For example all 4 digit numbers beginning 55 are part of the gourmet colors series, which have a matte finish. I adore these threads and love their bright clear colors. Other series, starting with 50, have black as the base thread, or have combination of colors, starting with 32, that make them the gemstone series.

Most colors have a 50/50 combination of base thread and metallic. The color of the base thread can make a difference in the overall color of the thread. Gold (002) uses a cream color base thread, while bright gold (202) uses a yellow thread, making the overall thread brighter. A black base, makes the over all color darker, like 5001 or 5005 (the two golds in this series). The metallic portion of the thread can be made up of one or more colors. But in all cases the ratio remains the same.

High Lustre (HL after the number) needlepoint thread has a much higher percentage of metallic threads to base threads, which makes them shinier. So High Lustre gold (002HL) is more shiny than gold (002). Not all colors are made in High Lustre.

In addition to HL there are some other letter designations. F indicates one of the glow in the dark threads. These threads really do glow under black light or in the dark, making them great for Halloween pieces. L indicates the holographic colors.

C after a number indicates a cord. These are constructed with the metallic wrapped around a polyester base thread cord. They tend to be more stiff than other Kreinik threads. Some colors have both braid and cord versions, some are only available in cord.

J is one of the Jap threads. They are constructed differently than the other metallics, but often they are in the same colors.

V after a number indicates the vintage series. These colors all have a common finish, which almost looks as if a thin film of dust is layered over the metallic. In some colors, like gold, this characteristic is pronounced. In others, like blue, it is very subtle. These have become popular, especially when you want some metallic but not too much shine.

By understanding the numbers and letters Kreinik uses, you can easily pick the metallic needlepoint thread which suits your design best.