Tuesday, February 8, 2011

needles & floss for smocking

I LOVED all the comments from my last post! I decided the easiest way to answer all the questions is to just write a blog post. I had several questions about what kind of needles I use, so I will start there.
Back in September, when I went to the Birmingham Market, I picked up this nifty packet of needles from Wendy Schoen's booth. Inside the packet is several packets of different sizes of needles.
There is also this wonderful little needle guide booklet!
The size needle I used most often for smocking is a #7 darner. This size needle has a nice long eye, which makes it great when using DMC Pearl Cotton #8. This needle also sits comfortably between my index finger and thumb. I think it's important to use a needle that feels comfortable when I work my stitches, and this one is my favorite.
Unfortunately, I can't find this nifty needle packet on Wendy's website. I will do my best to locate them tho and if I can purchase them wholesale, I will start carrying them on my website either here or thru here. 
The next most common question I get is about DMC Pearl Cotton #8, most commonly where to purchase it. Hobby Lobby does carry a few colors, but if you want a wide array of colors, I suggest purchasing from Herrschner's. They carry just about any color you can think of!
I LOVE smocking geometrics with DMC Pearl Cotton #8. It has such a pretty sheen, and it give an interesting raised effect to the smocking.
Can you see how the thread gives off a beautiful sheen? 
The nice part of this too is that the thread keeps it's
sheen and doesn't dull out as you work across the row.
In contrast, here is some smocking done with 3 strands of DMC embroidery floss. Can you see how the stitches sit flatter on the pleats and has a little duller sheen than it does with Pearl Cotton #8?
I hope this helps answer some of the questions about needles and pearl cotton #8. Someone did ask about using Pearl Cotton #5 and my thought on that is go ahead and experiment! Don't be afraid to try all kinds of floss - try it and see if you like it! :)


Martha said...

Have you tried #16 perle cotton? It is great for Wee Care gowns.It is by Presencia. The #16 is wonderful, you should try it.

The sewing room said...

Well l love every thing you do you are a clever lady, what l want to know is would you post supplies to England as it is not very easy to buy smocking stuff over here it is a bit of a dying art and if the answer is yes could you convert the price as this would be very useful many thanks Pat.

Julia said...

Thanks again for your tips!

Laurie said...

Thanks Martha - I will try it!

Caitmon said...

Hello! I'm a beginning smocker and have only ever used the typical 6 strand dmc. I'm interested in using the dmc perle cotton for my smocking and I noticed you do not recommend it for picture smocking. Say a design has a row of cable stitches above the picture part of the design, would the garment come out funny looking if I used perle cotton for the cable stitches but then regular 3 strands of dmc for the picture part?
Thank you!
And thank you for all your information! I live on your YouTube channel!


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