Here at Kreinik Manufacturing, we make a lot of thread (at least 20 different kinds) in many colors (at least 250+). Once the thread is made, we wind a lot of spools, cones, skeins and cards. Even though we streamline the manufacturing process to reduce waste, we still end up with various odds and ends, lengths and half-spools. Often we make a custom color for a designer and there’s some left over. Sometimes we make a mistake and a Braid is too thin, or too thick.
We save them, we save them all, because people make beautiful things with this stuff. Our thread ends are recycled and upcycled into some of the prettiest textile art. Let’s not call it trash; there are no dust bunnies mixed in with strands of Japan Threads and filament silks. Besides, gasoline was involved in shipping the raw material to us, we spent time making the thread, and the colors are still soooo pretty. They’re not waste, they’re just…little bits of unused threads.
One year, we used the bits to make paper for our holiday cards. We have donated them to community centers for kids’ craft camps. Textile artists and quilters in particular have asked for Kreinik thread leftovers to use in collage, sculptures, and fiber art. Today, we package them under the name “Kreinik Bag O’Bits,” which you can get in small or large bags, or by the pound. The warehouse location code for this esteemed product line is something like “Boxes in the hall,” but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. It’s one of our most popular items. From paper to quilts, jewelry, bowls, and more (yes, even birds’ nests), these little leftover threads bring their color and texture to all kinds of projects.
Take a look at these photos for some of the creative ways people have used Kreinik thread bits. The Blending Filament you use for cross stitch also makes a recycled, felted project sparkle. Fine #8 Braid made for an embroidered dress is perfect for a Brer Possum fishing lure. Scraps of metallic ribbon and silk floss create decorative stitches on a crazy quilt. Your kids tie colorful fibers onto the tail of a kite. A fashionista adds metallic threads to the fringe of her knitted scarf. There are so many ways threads of any length, weight, or kind can add even a little excitement, color, and texture to a project.
We will keep saving our scraps because someone’s beautiful creation is right around the corner, and colorful fibers will be the perfect touch. No threads left behind! To creative infinity and beyond!
Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing Company, a family-owned, USA-based business that manufactures high-quality yarns and threads made of metallics, silks and real metals from their West Virginia factory.