Thursday, May 17, 2012

Painted Thread

Students in my looping workshops and eCourse are always curious about how I produce the multicolor waxed linen thread I often provide. It's a simple process I learned years ago in a workshop with Lissa Hunter. While preparing for this weekend's Burundi Looping class for Flambeau Area Fiber Arts, I shot a short video.

My apologies for the abrupt end. The phone rang. The dog barked. You didn't miss a thing.

When I post these barely edited videos, I feel compelled to do what, in my family, is called an "aw, honey." That's because my dad, an amazing woodworker, always says (while you're opening a gift wrapped in newspaper and duct tape), "Aw, honey, it's not perfect because of this and this and this...."

Let's just say I work really hard on the videos that are part of my online workshops. This one, on the other hand, got done while leftovers were heating for lunch. Hope you like it anyway!

P.S. I posted a while back on another way of painting thread using Dye-na-Flow fabric paint on non-waxed linen.


  1. Great video! What is the reason for using the matte and the gloss? what happens when you use just one of them? I am thinking I would like to try this for coiling on a gourd! thanks

  2. I've done the technique with just one or the other, and it works. But In my experience, the adhesion quality is better in gloss than matte, but gloss is shinier and more plastic-looking than I want. By mixing the two, I get sort of a satin finish with very good adhesion.

    And like I say in the video, I've done this technique with cheap craft paint straight out of the bottle and paint pens as well as artist acrylics and acrylic medium. I'd say sample whatever acrylic paint product you have on hand because it's liable to work just fine!

  3. thanks - I think I am going to go play with it!

  4. Thanks, Donna! I was wondering how you reel the waxed linen into such a beautiful ball. Are you using a yarn winder? I will be painting my first linen this afternoon. Thank you. This is a great technique to use up some of the solid colors that need more texture.

  5. Paulette, I use a yarn ball winder for class materials. For my own threads, I generally prefer to wind a center-pull ball on a nostepinne (although, most of the time my "notstepinne" is whatever pencil is handy).


This blog has moved to I hope you'll join the conversation there!