Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Compare Anaito and Temari Silk Thread


Kanagawa Anaito Silk Mini-Card Sets | Button Hole Twist Thread | Embroidery and Jewelry Silk Thread
Anaito Mini-Card Set - 30 Colors Set with 8m Mini-Cards

As an macrame Cavandoli jeweler, I have been working with the "Anaito" Kanagawa 1000 Denier Embroidery Silk for my whole adult life and it is the very best button hole twist thread available in a wide range of colors. I have started importing it directly from the Kanagawa factory this year and I have learned a lot about this thread in the process. Now in addition to the 20 m Anaito silk cards, I am also importing two new products: Anaito Mini-Card Sets, the same silk already available in 20 meter cards, and Temari Silk, a 2-ply silk thread available by cards or as a full set. 

Temari Embroidery Silk - 2 Ply Silk from Japan
Temari Silk - 27 Colors with 40m Cards

I just imported this new silk collection. I can't wait to experiment with it. 

Let's compare these two silk thread and learn about thread terms that help understand how these thread are made. 

Thread Construction
The KNK Anaito and Temari Silk are made out of filament or reeled silk. 

Filament or reeled silk - It means that it is made out of the silk filament reeled out of the cocoon into a continuous fiber. The cocoon has to be of the highest quality, otherwise the filament break.

Anaito - That means buttonhole twist thread in Japanese.

Temari Embroidery Silk

Temari refers to Temari balls, a traditional embroidery thread craft in Japan. 

Denier - A unit of weight for thread and cord based on grams per 9 Kilometers whereas the newer Tex unit is grams per 1 kilometer. 1000 Denier corresponds to 111 Tex. (It is a weight measurement so do not use it to compare different type of thread such as nylon versus silk or cotton... Also it is not a diameter nor a tensile strength measurement.)

Compare Silk Thread - Anaito versus Temari

As you can see, Anaito is made with a 3-ply twisted construction. If you split the thread it separates into 3 parts called plies. If separated further, each of these plies are made out of 12 plies and those plies are made out of silk yarn that is 27 Denier in weight. 

If you want to think about it, from a construction point of view, 27 Denier worth of silk yarn (or silk hair, thats the filaments) are first twisted, and 12 of these are plied or twisted in the opposite direction together making a 324 Denier thread (27 d x 12). Then 3 of these newly made thread are twisted and plied together into the final 1000 Denier thread (27d x 12 x 3 = 972d, simplified to the closest round number of 1000.

Whereas, Temari Silk has a 2-ply construction, and one additional process along the way, as the filaments are twisted and plied 4 times along the way versus 3 times for the Anaito Silk. 

Kanagawa Anaito vs Fujix Tire #16 Buttonhole Silk - Fujix Tire #16 Buttonhole Silk is composed of 20d x 16 x 3 = 960d, simplified to 1000 Denier.  

Twist per Inch - In addition, Anaito is a tighter thread with more twist per inch. This means that when Anaito was twisted into its final 3 ply, more torsion was applied or each plies was given more turns per inch or centimeters, making it a tighter more compact thread. Temari is more softly spun, with less turns per inch or cm, giving the silk a loftier feel. More twist per inch make a more compact thread. Less a loftier one. 

2 Ply vs 3 Ply - 2-ply has more sheen and texture, and is oval in shape. 3-ply is round in shape and has a bit less sheen. 3 ply thread is stronger than 3-ply thread. 

Silk Thread Compare 2-ply vs 3-ply

Card Sizes - Compare card sizes and thread output. 

Washing - Both of these silks are can be washed by hand and have permanent dyes that will not bleed when washed. I use lukewarmm water with mild detergent or shampoo. For tougher stains such body oils, try Synthrapol, a detergent with some isopropyl alcohol in it.  I keep some on hand to restore any jewelry made with silk thread. 

Light - The dyes are however light sensitive and will fade with extended exposure to direct sunlight.

Applications - Based on all of this info, here is my recommendations:

Stringing Beads - Anaito - With or without knots in between, and only with beads with no hard or abrasive edges. If it is too thin, double or triple it or ply it into a 2 or 3 ply cord. Temari not recommended. 

Tassels made with Silk Thread

Tassels - Anaito - Perfect for flowy tassels. Temari Silk has not been tested yet.

Braiding - Kumihimo - I have braided pieces with Anaito silk without beads. It is gorgeous. Think of it for a very special ceremonial piece worn just a few time a year. Make sure to include a central core, so the silk is not under undue tension. Temari Silk not tested yet. 

Bead Crochet - Some of my customers have done beaded crochet with the Anaito silk. I have not. Temari Silk not tested yet. 

Bead Knitting - Some of my customers have knitted beaded evening purses with the Anaito silk. I have not. Temari Silk not tested yet. 

Bead Embroidery - Some of my customers have done beaded embroidery with the Anaito silk. I have not. Temari Silk not tested yet. 

Surface Embroidery - Both silks are perfect. 

Cavandoli Knotting made with silk and nylon thread
Flowers and Leaves Medallion with C-Lon Bead Cord, 
Madeira Silk Floss, and Anaito Silk
©2015-2021 Marion Hunziker-Larsen

Cavandoli Knotted Jewelry - Anaito silk works well, so will the Temari Silk. The additional sheen will be one more thing to play with. I use C-Lon Bead Cord as a base and knot over it with various silks. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70 - Full 48 Color Collection in 100 yd Spools

C-Lon Micro Bead Cord Tex 70

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70 - the full collection of 48 colors is now available in the new 100 yd spools. This makes the full collection much more affordable, and with the 100 yd spool of Micro you can still get a lot of things done. For example, with one 100 yd spool, you can crochet a 90 inch long 5 bead around tubular crochet rope with size 11 beads. 

All the colors are shown next to one another in natural day light making it easier to chose the right color. Keep in mind that natural daylight has a bit a yellow from the sunlight. Click on the pictures for larger closeups. 

Here are the colors in groups of 8's:

Row 1

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70

Black, White, Oyster, Shanghai Red, Argentum, Grey, Gunmetal, Charcoal

Row 2

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70

Purple, Amethyst, Orchid, Grape, Light Orchid, Rose, Wine, Eggplant

Row 3

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70

Vanilla, Golden Yellow, Gold, Light Copper, Sea Shell, Copper Rose, Sienna, Red

Row 4

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70

Chocolate, Sepia, Cocoa, Antique Brown, Latte, Sable, Medium Brown, Brown

Row 5

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70

Forest Green, Olive, Khaki, Flax, Green, Chartreuse, Peridot, Sage

Row 6

C-Lon Micro Cord Tex 70

Teal, Turquoise, Peacock, Caribbean Blue, Capri, Silver, Light Blue, Navy

Placing all these colors in rows of 8 spools is a bit like playing with musical chairs. A few colors end up getting squeezed in odd slots due to these constraints. After trying several combinations, I ended liking this one, as each row shows colors well to compare them. 

C-Lon Micro Bead Cord Tex 70

Questions - Do all the spools have the same yardage even though spool sizes is not always the same? Why do some spools look thicker or thinner? And why does the thread appear different? 

Answers - The yardage is counted by a machine and is fairly accurate within a small margin of error. Spool size is not a factor as to yardage. However, the spooling machines that wind the cord around the spool do not always do it exactly the same way. For example, the Rose spool on the center left is wound with each pass tightly agains each other. It gives the spool a smooth appearance with no shadow in between the cord passes. At other times, there is space between the passes of the thread as in the Wine spool in the center right and it creates darker shadows in between the cord. All that extra space in between the thread makes a larger spool. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Making Malas - How to Choose Cord Colors

A while ago I wrote a post with step by step instructions on how to make Malas. This was after getting a lot of requests on the best cords to use to make Malas and how to make the tassels. Go to the post HERE. Friday, I got a phone call asking me about color choices for a Mala with Rose Quartz, and it requires some follow up and a few tests... so I may as well share this with everyone.

These tests are a great way to choose colors. In addition, they will confirm that the cord size chosen for stringing the beads and knotting between the beads is the correct size. 

The size of the knots in between the beads need to be just right. The knots need to be large enough to keep the beads separated, but if they are too small, they may partially disappear into the bead holes. If they are too large, they take over visually.  

As a rule of thumb, use the standard C-Lon Bead Cord doubled over for 8mm and 10mm gemstone beads, and use C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord (that's the Tex 135 with a 0.4mm diameter) doubled over for 6mm gemstone beads. If you use wood or metal beads it gets more complicated as there is not really a standard hole size for these beads, so testing becomes even more crucial. 

Here are my tests:

Making Malas - How to Choose Colors and Cord Sizes

The cord for stringing the beads and knotting in between is the standard size of C-Lon Bead Cord (the Tex 210 with a 0.5mm diameter). The colors are from top to bottom: FL French Lilac, PTL Petal, and AP Apricot. 

The rose quartz 10mm gemstone beads I happen to have are a bit milky so they do not show the bead holes. Other rose quartz beads I have had in the past have been more transparent. French Lilac may have shown as a dark line at the center of the bead, and Apricot may have added a yellow glow to the rose quartz I may not have wanted. 

Making Malas - How to Choose Colors and Cord Sizes

As for the choices for the tassel color, I chose to go with Chinese Knotting Cord Size E, or New E, as the tassel will be large and require about 50 yd of cord. For these tests, from top to bottom, I chose Chinese Knotting Cord Size E: E-415 French Lilac, NewE-312 Pink Blossom, E-320 Bubblegum, and E-941 Pale Coral. 

Other good choices for tassels include the next size up of Chinese Knotting Cord (Size F), silks such as Kanagawa or Fujix Tire, or Griffin Jewelry Silk on spools. 

Links & References: 

–> DIY Instruction on Making Malas with a Tassel

–> C-Lon Bead Cord

–> Chinese Knotting Cord Size E or New E

–> Matching C-Lon with Chinese Knotting Cord and Silks