Have You Tried This New Thread For Hand Embroidery?

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a "petite." The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a “petite.” The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

When I was at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, I briefly noted a booth with gobs and gobs of threads available for embroidery that were wound on spools. That got me pretty darn excited. I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated with skeins of embroidery thread. It twists, it knots, and unless you unwind it and wind it back up again on a spool, it can result in a mess in your sewing bag.

Alas, I thought, someone has gotten smart and created a solution for my frustration. I decided to try out this spooled thread.

I was on a mini shop hop with a couple of friends in the Utica, NY area, and at one of the shops there was a display of 12 wt. Sulky thread on 50 yard spools. They were called “Petites.” The shop owner told me that the thread was supposed to be good for embroidery as it had about the same weight as typical embroidery floss, like you might get from Cosmo or some other brand. I decided to give it a try.

I bought a few spools in red, blue, and brown as those are the colors I am working in right now for redwork. I don’t remember what I paid for them but I have found them online for a couple dollars for a spool of 50 yards.  The larger spools are more money, of course. Those spools hold 330 yards of thread which I find to be wonderful if you have a large project to do. Typical embroidery floss skeins hold  8.7 yards.

The picture above gives an indication of what the spools look like.

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a "petite." The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

Sulky brand thread in 12 wt. on a 50-yard spool. Also known as a “petite.” The spools also come in larger sizes of 330 yards. This picture shows a little comparison between traditional embroidery floss and the Sulky thread.

The picture shown here shows two lines of embroidery. The top piece is embroidered with traditional embroidery floss, using two strands. the bottom embroidery shows a piece using 1 thread of the Sulky brand thread in a 12 wt. Now let me give you some pros and cons for each one. These are my personal observations, only.

(I can’t get a comparison table to look right here so I’ll just have to list these.)

Sulky Thread                   
Cost                              $2-4/50 yards
Ease of Use                 Easy*
Knotability                  Low
Color Options             About 80
Threading Ease          **
Wearability                 ***

Embroidery Floss
Cost                              $.50-$1 for approximately 9 yards
Ease of Use                  Easy
Knotability                   Medium-high
Color Options              Hundreds, 400+
Threading Ease            Typical
Wearability                   Good

* I find the Sulky to be superior in ease of use because it comes off a spool. It doesn’t knot while you’re trying to unravel it from a skein and it doesn’t knot when you do so. This saves time and aggravation.

** For some reason, I find the Sulky to be slightly more difficult to thread. I wonder if it’s the width of the thread. I have figured out if I fold it over the needle but separate the threads that hang over, it somehow moves the looped over thread so it doesn’t result in it being too thick. Then I can thread it more easily. This sounds complicated but it isn’t.

*** I feel like the Sulky wears slightly more than the floss but I may be imagining that. I just use a shorter length of thread and then I’m fine.

What I truly love about the Sulky is that there is only one thread so I don’t get little loops of thread sticking up and there isn’t another thread to get knotted with or have the threads become uneven resulting in loops. Sulky thread makes the embroidery smoother and that I like a lot. I take out fewer stitches with the Sulky.

The biggest issue I see with the Sulky is that there aren’t enough colors if you do a lot of embroidery. I do redwork so the color choices are fine for me.

Here’s what Sulky says about the thread:

“To celebrate our 25th Anniversary, Sulky of America recently introduced a fabulous NEW line of Sulky 12 wt. Cotton “Petites” Thread. These smaller 50 yd. snap-end spools of 80 dynamic colors of premium quality Sulky 12 wt. Long Staple, Egyptian Cotton Thread were especially created for the myriad of you who love Hand Embroidery, Quilting, and Applique, as well as numerous other Hand Crafts such as:

Cross Stitch, Crazy Patchwork, Couching, Hand Sashiko, Blanket Stitch, Needlepunch, Candlewicking, Smocking, Heirloom Sewing, Redwork, and also Bobbin Work.

  • Since one strand of Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Thread is equivalent to two strands of typical floss, the huge benefits are:
  •  You don’t have to separate any floss;
  • There is no tangling;
  • You can cut any length you want; and

Storage is tidy with no loss of color identity. You will also love the fact that this smaller 50 yd. Sulky Petite spool has a suggested retail price that is almost three-fourths less than the price of the same Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Thread on a 330 yd. spool. See colors.” — from http://www.sulky.com/index_us.php

If you try out this thread, please let Sew, O’Susannah know what you think.

Don’t forget to Like, Post, Comment, Link, Pin, Tweet and Share. Have a great week. –Betsy

 

 

 

 

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