Work has been intense the last few days, meaning I’ve been getting home too exhausted to do much. But I’ve started thinking about yarn design. I want my phoenixes to glitter as they rise up to the top of the kimono, but since they are also changing color, I need a glittery thread that can be dyed. Not easy to find! Giovanna Imperia has dyeable metallic threads (made from nylon), but they are very fine, about 30,000 yards per pound, meaning I’d need to strand together four strands to get the size I’m after. Not impossible, but likely to be a pain.
Another option is to strand a silk yarn with a non-dyeable metallic yarn (metallic gold for example). This would be nice – the silk would dye nicely, the metallic would add some glitter without being excessive. However, I’m reluctant to strand two dissimilar yarns, as I would expect different take-up between the different size yarns, producing problems eventually.
A final option would be to ply a silk yarn with a fine metallic yarn of some sort. This seems like the best option, and after considerable searching, I’ve found a vendor that is willing to do it. But now I need to decide which metallic thread to use, as I have quite a few of them:
- bright yellow-gold polyester machine embroidery thread, which is likely impervious to chemical reactions, but also fairly stiff
- antique gold thread, metallic filament wrapped around a rayon core
- dyeable glitter thread from Giovanna Imperia (ordered a sample but has not arrived yet), dyeable with acid dyes
- kinshi thread, a metallic thread made by gluing real gold dust to thread – probably won’t survive dyeing
- metallic gold machine embroidery thread, mylar wrapped around nylon, might or might not dye
Who would have thought that there were so many types of skinny metallic threads? But before I send my yarns off to be twisted together, I need to know which ones to send. So, once the threads I’ve ordered arrive, I’m going to put all five types of thread through a peroxide bleaching dyebath, and try dyeing them both with fiber-reactive and with acid dyes, to see what happens. (The peroxide bleaching bath is because the silk I’d be blending the metallic with is ecru, not white, and I would like to whiten it before dyeing.)
So…nothing visible going on, but my brain has been running overtime, designing yarns for the kimono.
And, just because pictures are fun, here’s a pic of the kinshi thread, from the vendor’s website (the real thread hasn’t arrived yet):
Kinshi thread is made by coating a core thread with gold dust (yes, real gold) – very hard to find and also very expensive, so when I found three cones at an almost-reasonable price, I snapped them up. It will be interesting to try working with it!