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February 11, 2020
The mere mention of metallic thread makes many stitchers cringe. Metallic embroidery floss is notoriously difficult to stitch with as it tends to tangle easily and snap frequently. Most brands have a hard and crinkly feel to them that does not make most people want to handle them for long periods of time. I have met many stitchers that avoided metallics at all cost until I introduced them to the Nishikiito line of metallic thread from Lecien Cosmo.
Nishikiito threads are made in the same way as the gold threads that were traditionally used in kimono making in Kyoto, Japan. This line of thread has revolutionized metallic hand embroidery floss because it is soft, sturdy, abrasion-resistant and quite simply a joy to stitch with. With over 48 colors to choose from, it is time to start adding a touch of sparkle to your handwork.
Nishikiito threads come in 5 different styles: Nishiki, Kagami, Opali, Champagni and Neoni. Let's take a look at each one to find the thread that is right for your next sparkle worthy project.
The Nishiki style threads have subtle metallic colors that are friction resistant, which means you can stitch with a longer piece of thread without fear of fraying or snapping. These are the threads that were used in making Obi, the exquisite belts often worn with ceremonial kimono. In the Cosmo thread numbering system, these are the Nishikiito threads that are numbered 1-23.
In addition to being great embroidery threads, these threads are fantastic for making tatting lace and tassels.
When you want a bolder metallic accent, reach for the Kagami style threads. These bold colors will add a distinctive sparkle to your project because of the twisting technique that is used to create them, which enhances the metallic shine and abundant glitter. As these threads remain soft to the touch and easy to handle, they are ideal for hand embroidery and cross stitch projects. The Kagami threads are Nishikiito Numbers 24-33.
I used Nishikiito No 31 to give the moon a touch of shine when I stitched up the cozyblue Night Garden sampler. I used it as my wrapping thread for the wrapped backstitch I used to outline the moon. I also alternated it with the beige floss that is included with the kit on the long horizontal stitches on the inside of the moon. To give the flowers a small pop, I stitched in a few strands of No. 31 in the flower heads as well. The Clover Embroidery Floss Threader made threading the Nishikiito into my embroidery needle a breeze and running it through Thread Magic thread conditioner ensured a smooth glide as I stitched.
If you are looking for a more subtle iridescent look, reach for the Opali line. Formally sold as Cosmos' Shabon-dama threads, these 12 colors have been renamed Opali to reflect their resemblance to the multi-color iridescence of opal stones.
This color chart from the Lecien booth at Quilt Market a couple of years ago is a good representation of what each of the Opali colors looks like when stitched. There are 12 Opali colors in total, numbers 101 - 112.
The soft pastel colors of the Champagni line are meant to resemble the bubbles in a glass of champagne. As one of the softest threads in the Nishikiito line, these beautiful colors are easy to incorporate into any project. The Champagni colors are numbers 201-206.
The Neoni colors are an eye-catching series of bright and bold colors. This line is the thinnest of the Nishikii threads, so you can control how much of a pop of color you introduce into your work. Want just a subtle hint of neon? Use a single strand! Want to make a bolder statement? Use 2-3 strands per stitch. There are 6 bold colors in the Neoni family, numbers 301-306.
Ready to add some sparkle to your next stitch project? Shop all of the Cosmo Nishikiito colors here.
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