Oct 12, 2011

Goldwork Thread: Check

Check thread is basically a flat wire that is wrapped around a cotton core in a manner that creates small ridges or bumps. A “bumpy” core is created from a tightly twisted strand that is twisted into a second loosely twisted cotton strand of cotton (like katayori in Japanese Embroidery, but perhaps, not as tight).  Then the metal thread is wrapped around the now crinkly, cotton center.  
Check thread is one of the more economical gold threads so it can be used often.  It does come in several sizes with the smaller the number the finer the thread and the higher the number the heavier the thread.  Pictured above and on MR’s Fleur, we used a #5.  
Check thread is sometimes called “Crinkle”, “Rococo”, and “Frizzle”.  

Couching -- Due to the “bumpy” nature of this thread, it is couched either as one or two threads together.  The ends are plunged to the backside of the ground fabric.  

I found Check to be a really springy, almost difficult to handle thread.  On MR’s Fleur, we couched the “stamens” in a double couched formation.  
When couching a double thickness of Crinkle, the goal is to couch the ridges together every few (2, 3, or 4 depending on the Crinkle’s thickness) “bumps”.  This is pretty tough to do so it is not necessarily done often.  It’s one of those techniques that having a live demonstration from a really good teacher to show you how is well worth the money.  I did find that using a Koma to stabilize the Crinkle helped immensely.  

Please visit a new page on my website (notice -- currently a WIP) to find a useful as resource for good books worth your time. On the main blog page I've added a link to these "Thread FAQs" that you can easily reference going forward. There will be a page on the new www.lilystitch.com website when launched incorporating them as well. 



  1. Good one, Lily! MOST interesting to hear about the double couching technique!

  2. Some of the metal threads do have rather a will of their own, don't they. Good to know you worked out a way of dealing with it!


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