Silk Yarns, Fibers, Threads & Ribbons

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Embroidery & Needle Arts

Reeled

Reeled or filament silk is the highest quality thread and is very shiny. 

Reeling is the process of unwinding the mile long filament spun by the silkworm to form its metamorphosis chamber, a cocoon. Silk is comprised of two proteins: fibroin, the thread and sericin, the gum or glue. Cocoons are soaked in warm water to soften the gummy sericin. The silken strand from a single cocoon is too fine to use alone. Individual filaments of 6–40 cocoons are unraveled together, traveling through a very small eye as the thread is wound onto a reel. During this process, the softened sericin dries, hardens and binds the strands together as one thread, the size of a human hair.

Spun

The silk remaining from the reeling process and the damaged or imperfectly shaped cocoons become the raw material for the lustrous, creamy colored spun silk thread. All this material must have the sericin removed (degummed) with soap and water. Once dried, the silk is carded and combed, laying the fibres parallel, ready to be spun into thread.

All of our spun threads are gassed. This is a finishing process of running the spun yearn through a series of spikes which creates static. This pulls any loose fibres or debris to the surface. The thread continues through a hot flame at a very high speed to singe off the fluff produced during the spinning process, which helps prevent pilling.

Silk threads and ribbons are exceptional for embroidery and needle arts- silk’s luster is unsurpassed!

For the hours you spend creating your heirlooms, you owe it to yourself to use high-quality silk.

Most of our silks come from China in natural color.
Our dyers, in Colorado, or B.C. Canada, work magic in their cauldrons to produce 100 plus luscious solid colors and 74 dazzling variegated colorways (Montano Series).

100% Bombyx Silk Threads

Treenway offers four types of threads wound into 10 yard skeins for embroiderers, quilters, mixed media artists and embellishers of all types.

Need help ordering Mini Skein Threads?
Use our handy Ribbon & Thread Guide

20/2 Spun Silk (equivalent to #8 Perle Cotton) Shop 20/2
Used with 30 count linen – approx. 1 ½ yards to cover one square inch
6 Strand Floss (spun) Shop Floss
Used with 30 count linen – approx. 1 ¾ yards to cover one square inch
Used with 18 count aida cloth – approx. 2 ¾ yards to cover one square inch
Fine Cord Reeled Silk (equivalent to Buttonhole Twist)
Shop Fine Cord
Used with 18 count canvas – approx. 3 ¼ yards to cover one square inch
8/2 Reeled Silk (equivalent to #3 Perle Cotton) Shop 8/2
Used with 13 count canvas – approx. 2 ½ yards to cover one square inch
Used with 14 count canvas – approx. 2 ½ yards to cover one square inch
Used with 18 count aida cloth – approx. 2 yards to cover one square inch

Wild Silk Threads (Spun Silk)

Wild silks are defined as any silk made from a caterpillar other than Bombyx Mori. Read more | Shop Wild Yarns

Muga (equivalent to #8 Perle Cotton)
Treenway's Carmelina (100% Muga Spun Silk Yarn - 30/2) is suitable for some needle work.
The thread is handmade so expect those wonderful irregularities of such a yarn.
Muga caterpillars live primarily in the Brahamaputra River valley in Assam, India, and sparsely in other north–eastern states of India.
The silk released from these cocoons is shimmery and golden.
Tussah (equivalent to #8 Perle Cotton)
Treenway's Kinetta (100% Tussah Peduncle Spun Silk Yarn- 30/2) is suitable for some needle work.
It has a natural golden color and less shine than Bombyx threads.

Woven Silk Ribbon

100% Bombyx Woven Silk Ribbon

All of Treenway Silk's ribbons are woven using fine reeled silk which still has the sericin in it. This acts as a natural sizing. The warp threads are two strands of fine silk which are twisted together. There are 300 fine warp threads per inch. The weft is a single silk strand. The ribbon is woven in plain weave, where the weft goes over one warp thread and under one warp thread all the way across.

The loom is set up to maximize efficiency in weaving the narrow ribbon bands. Three layers of ribbons are woven at once. Approximately 14 ribbons are woven simultaneously across the loom with another layer of 14 ribbons above that and another 14 above that. There are 42 tiny shuttles and bobbins carrying the weft back and forth at one time.

Observing the winding of all those thousands of fine threads into numerous layers and sections onto the loom, was akin to watching an orchestra of spiders building a massive web.

ribbon being woven ribbon being woven

100% Silk Ribbons

Treenway offers 4 sizes of 100% Bombyx woven silk ribbon.

Large, Full Skeins: For Treenway's best value in silk ribbon we offer large skeins of woven silk ribbon in natural white. You may order dyeing in any of our 100 plus colors.

Mini Skeins - 5yd: We've got your color! Treenway offers our exceptional 100% Bombyx Woven Silk Ribbon Mini Skeins in all our 100+ colors.

Need help ordering Mini Skein Ribbons?
Use our handy Ribbon & Thread Guide

.2 mm (approx 1/16 inch)
Available in natural.
May be dyed to order from Treenways 100 plus colors.
3.5 mm (approx 1/8 inch)
Available in 53 solid colors,
all 74 Montano Series colorways
and in natural.
7 mm (approx ¼ inch)
Available in natural and a limited selection of solid colors.
13 mm (approx ½ inch)
Available in natural.
May be dyed to order from Treenways 100 plus colors.

Tip for Working With Silk Thread and Ribbon

We have worked with our stitching threads and ribbon on a variety of canvas and linen with our consultant Diana Caleb. The following information is the result of our work and a starting point for your projects. One should make a test sample to ensure the finished piece will look as intended.

  • Open the skein and cut the threads at both ends — it makes a perfect stitching length of 18". You can keep the threads tidy by loosely knotting them.
  • Fine Cord Reeled Silk(Buttonhole Twist) is tightly spun and twists as you work with it.  Hold your work up often and let the thread dangle and untwist itself.
  • Press ribbon.
  • Paint canvas with silk paints — paint must not clog holes. Diluted acrylic paints may also be used but care must be taken not to clog holes. Iron after paint has dried.
Logo for DebBee's Designs

Treenway Silks Now Offers DebBee's Designs Thread Kits!

We’re so excited that esteemed canvas work designer Debbie Rowley (DebBee’s Designs) selected Treenway Silks’ threads to use in her newest two designs! Both were debuted at 2013 TNNA-Columbus and they have been huge sellers!

 

Garden of Silken Delights has been designed totally with Treenway Silks’ threads. And we have put together a thread kit for you here.

Using just one brand of silk in her design is a departure for Debbie, but she was so excited about our silks that she was inspired design this piece completely with our extensive threads collection.

DebBee's Designs with Susan of Treenway Silks DebBee's Designs - Garden of Silken Delights photo

Tropical Punch is Debbie’s other new pattern. This design features 6 different Treenway Silks threads/colors. Here’s the Treenway Silks’ Thread Kit.

DebBee's Designs with Susan of Treenway Silks DebBee's Designs - Tropical Punch photo

DebBee's Blog

DebBee has an active blog where she posts about her projects. Read her post about working with Treenway Silks

DebBee's Designs header

Here a Thread, There a Thread…Part 5
Posted on June 23, 2013 by Debbie

Recently I found a “new” thread line, one that has actually been in business for more than 30 years, Treenway Silks. I had first heard of Treenway Silks when a stitcher had used them for a different colorway for Diamond Delight 4, and her rendition won a prize at the prestigious Woodlawn competition. I was quite intrigued, but couldn’t find out much about the silks since I hadn’t physically seen them, and didn’t know of a shop that carried them.

Then at the Winter TNNA show in Long Beach, Treenway Silks had a booth and I made the connection finally. Beautiful silks in three weights, plus silk floss! Overdyeds and solids, plus ribbons! I couldn’t wait to stitch with them myself. So I arranged with the owner, Susan DuBois, to stitch a project entirely with Treenway Silks, and then another project that incorporated Treenway Silks with other threads.

Garden of Silken Delights is stitched entirely with Treenway Silks in 3 weights. Zen Shin is probably my favorite weight, equivalent to about a #5 pearl. It’s 20/2 spun silk, beautiful hand and yummy colors plus overdyed colors. Tranquility is a fine silk cord, equivalent to a buttonhole twist, overdyed or solid colors. And Serenity is the heaviest weight, 8/2 reeled silk, about a #3 pearl equivalent. The Zen Shin and Serenity can be plied or stitched with as is. Treenway Silks has a thread pack for Garden of Silken Delights, and I also have it for my retailers, all the threads needed for the whole project.

For the project that combines Treenway Silks with other threads, I designed Tropical Punch. I loved this project! I had so much fun with this one, and put in my favorite stitches – double fan doubled, Amadeus, crescents, waffle stitches. I also used some of my favorite threads as well, from Caron Collection, Kreinik, Rainbow Gallery and Presencia in addition to the Treenway Silks. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

I may revisit the topic of thread selection at another time, but I think I’ve exhausted it for now! As always, if you have any questions about my thread or stitch or color selection, just let me know and I’ll answer as best as I can.

Read more from DebBee at her blog...

Needlepoint Samples

image of embroidery using Treenway Silks thread
Sample Title: Auckland
Sample Size: 2 3/8" wide x 2" high
Canvas: 14 count canvas
Thread: Ribbon 3.5mm (Auckland, Montano Series)
Thread 8/2 (#46 Peony)
Stitch: Ribbon Bargello, over 4, 1 step up
Thread Continental Tent Stitch
Amount Used: Thread approx. 5 yards
Ribbon approx. 3¼ yards
image of embroidery using Treenway Silks thread
Sample Title: Cozumel
Sample Size: 1 5/8" square
Canvas: 18 count canvas
Thread: Ribbon 3.5mm (Cozumel, Montano Series)
Thread Fine Cord (#6 Lapis Lazuli)
Stitch: Ribbon Gobelin stitch over 4 threads
Thread Continental Tent Stitch
Amount Used: Thread approx. 6½ yards
Ribbon approx. 1½ yards
image of embroidery using Treenway Silks thread
Sample Title: St. Thomas
Sample Size: 1 5/8" square
Canvas: 13 count canvas — mono
Thread: Centre 8/2 (St. Thomas, Montano Series)
Border 8/2 (#951 Tequila Sunrise)
Stitch: Basketweave Tent Stitch
Amount Used: Centre approx. ¾ yard
Border approx. 4 yards
image of embroidery using Treenway Silks thread
Sample Title: Daylily
Sample Size: 1 ½" square
Canvas: 18 count aida cloth —
a frame was used for stitching
Thread: Centre 8/2 (Daylily, Montano Series)
Border 20/2 (#27 Christmas Cactus)
Stitch: Centre Cross stitch over 2 threads
Border Basketweave Tent Stitch
Amount Used: Centre approx. 2 yards
Border approx. 3½ yards

Other Needle Arts

Daisies

To create this fantastic piece, first the background was painted onto brown paper. The daisies are embroidered using twisted ribbon stiches and french knots. (Diana Caleb)

Stones

The rocks are enclosed in chiffon bags. The French Knots were stitched onto dissolvable film using 8/2 silk thread then attached to the chiffon bags. (Diana Caleb)

Spheres of my Life

Each sphere represents a segment of Diana's life. The spheres are made of silk fusion. Each sphere is embellished with a variety of silk ribbons and threads using a number of stitches including ribbon, cretan, chain, feather and straight stitch and french knots. (Diana Caleb)

My Backyard

The scene was initially painted with acrylic paints. The plants and flowers were then added using a variety of silk ribbons and threads. The flower pots and garden bench were also embellished with silk threads. (Diana Caleb)

Quilting Samples


Sheila Joss with her quilt

Sheila Joss, Nanaimo, British Columbia

Crazy Quilt Shawl

Sheila writes to us about her very special shawl: "My Memory Crazy Quilt Shawl".

This was made from my mother's fabrics which included hand-dyed laces embellished with her pearls. To this I added special buttons given to me by friends who wished to be remembered and included. I used beautiful silk ribbons from Treenway and Brazilian Embroidery to highlight the shawl.

It took six years to make and is made it to be worn and I wear it frequently. It draws many compliments but, more importantly, it reminds me of my dear mother and of the many friends who gifted me precious mementos for my shawl.

Sheila Joss wearing the shawal quilt detail quilt detail