Archive for October, 2009

Milliner Needles

Today we will talk about Milliner needles.  Why is it important to use Milliner needles, instead of other types.   Notice in the picture below, the eye is the same size as the shank – no buldge.  This is necessary for ease of  slipping the bullion wraps and cast-on loops off the needle.     Also, notice the long shank.  This makes it easier to wrap or loop the cast-ons;  and to place more wraps and cast-ons than you could on a short needle. 


Now, lets discuss  size.   The REALLY large needle is a #15 Milliner.    #15 is used for Nova and Boucle thread.  #15 is a new size available to us in the Milliner needles.  Before we had to use  Yarn Darners, which have the bulging eye – very hard to pull those wraps and cast-ons off the needle.   I enjoy using Nova and especially Boucle thread, with this new large size needle.   Also, the large needle leaves a perfect size hole in the fabric for the Boucle to slip through with out distroying the knubbies on the thread.

The three small needles;  l to r  are  #1,  #5  & #7.  Size 1 is used for Lola and Cire;  #5  for  Iris and Frost;  size 3  is for Glory.    If the needle is to small for the thread to easily slip through the eye, it will wear on thread,  causing it to fray.  If the needle is to large, you will not have nice Cast-ons and smoothing the Bullions will be more difficult.  

There are many brands of Milliner needles.  I found some of the more common brands  have a smaller eye, making it hard to thread and wearing on the thread.   Some of the brands I would recommend are:   John James, Richard Hemmings and Piecemaker.   There is a very nice Milliner needle made in France, I am trying to get my hands on some of those for you – more about that one in the future.  I have some inexpensive Milliner needles in bulk, size  #1, 5 & 7, that are of good qualitity.  Contact me to inquire about those.

If you have any further questions about needles for Brazilian Embroidery, or comments;  if you would like a set  ( 1 each ) of the bulk needles I have, send me a comment.

Have a great day – talk to you soon

Sharon ~ Threads in Bloom


EdMar rayon thread

EdMar rayon thread is primarily made and mostly used for Brazilian Embroidery,  aka:  Dimensional Embroidery, because much of the stitching stands high above the surface of the fabric, rather than Surface Embroidery.  EdMar thread can also be used for many other needle arts such as:  Huck,  Cross Stitch, canvas, Punch needle and Embroidery on paper.

EdMar rayon twisted thread, is a ‘Z” twist.  Most threads are an ‘S’ twist.   What is the difference, and what difference does it make with your stitching ?

Take a close look and compare.   You will see the thread twist go from right to left on the ‘Z’  twist;  and from left to right on the ‘S’ twist.   You may be able to see the angle of the twist in the Stitching sample below..

When it comes to stitching, it does make a difference.  For example, a Stem stitch.  You must keep the working thread above the stitching line for that nice rope effect.  If you have it below, the thread will untwist, leaving an unattractive appearance.

The top row is correct.  See the nice ropey look it has.  The lower one is wrong –  just lays there like a dead stem.    In regular Surface embroidery, the will refer to the Brazilian Embroidery Stem stitch as an Outline stitch.   Notice where the position and where the needle and thread lay, above the stitching.  Yes, that is a Gold Milliner Needle, size #1.  They are available on my website.

Stem stitch

Making Bullions is the same –  you MUST wrap the thread around the needle  clockwise or it will untwist the thread – NOT a pretty Bullion.

About the different weights or sizes of thread.   Some thread such as Pearl cottons refer to the size by numbers;  3, 5, 8, etc.  EdMar has given its thread pretty names;   Gloria, Frost, Iris, Lola, Cire, Nova and Boucle.  Boucle is a knobby or bumpy thread.  Glory is the smallest and Nova is the heavy thread.  Each weight has it’s purpose, but are still interchangeable, allowing for size difference.  Lola and Frost have a tight twist.  Iris, Glory and Nova have a loose twist.   I like to use Iris for leaves.  The side by side stitches snuggle together.  With Lola or Frost you would see each strand separately.  It is just a personal preference.  Cire has a very loose twist and Boucle is bumpy.

Threads in Bloom carries all the colors  ( over 200 solid, shaded, varigated ) in Glory, Iris and Lola.   Frost, Cire, Nova and Boucle are stocked in the most popular colors.

Next time we will talk about Milliner needles.  Why we use Milliner  ( aka: straw needles ) and why we use different size Milliner needles.

Time to get back to juicing and making Alcante Bouchet jelly.  Alcante Bouchet is a wine grape – deep purple juice.  We have one vine, I make jelly.  It is nice to give for Christmas.  My friends love to get it.  It makes a lovely sauce  for Pork Tenderloin.

I look forward to you comments, questions and chatting.

Stitching keeps our souls content ~ Sharon ~ Threads in Bloom * Modesto, CA

Thread Stretchers

Good evening~  The other day some one was talking about Thread Stretchers and how to  use them.   Especially if you do Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery they are a terrific asset for the EdMar rayon thread.

Use Thread Stretchers to relax the twist in the rayon thread, particularly the Lola and Frost EdMar threads.   It is useful for many different embroidery threads, but a must for Brazilian Embroidery stitching.

You can order your Thread Stretchers at      www.

Do you use Thread Stretchers – let me know what threads you are stitching with, using this stitching tool.