Thread Thursday – Neon Rays

What would we do without Neon Rays? I love this thread!

I can hear you all grumbling about this thread as you’re reading this. Wondering how in the world I could like this thread.

I agree, it’s a difficult thread to work with. Here’s a few secrets to working with it. I promise you won’t hate it so much after you read this.

Let’s be honest . . .it’s a slippery little sucker. The most common complaint I hear from customers is that it’s hard to secure. And I’ll be honest, it is the first thread to come loose. Over the years we have gotten finishing back and there’s that little sucker pulling loose. We have tricks to fix that, but that’s for another day. Let’s just say we’ve gotten those little guys to behave before you’ve ever seen the problem.

So . . .how do you make sure this thread stays in place? To start the thread. either do a pin stitch or an away knot. If I can, I do a longer away knot than I usually would to make sure that this thread is stitched over as much as I can. I’m not saying it needs to be a 6 inch away knot. More like a half inch. A half inch covers 9 canvas threads on 18 mesh canvas. That is plenty long enough to be stitched over to hold it in place.

Sometimes you can’t do an away knot if you are doing open work. So try to find a place to hide a pin stitch. And sometimes you just have to tie a knot at the end. (The cardinal sin lol!) If you do that, make sure you double knot it. If I have a full coverage stitch around where I’m using Neon Rays, I will knot the end and slide it through the back of the full coverage stitch . . .once horizontally and then again vertically so it crosses in the back.

And that is exactly how I end the thread as well. If I’m lucky enough to have another thread nearby that catches everything, like Kreinik, I only run through the back once.

The other problem people have with working with this thread is that there are creases in it from being wrapped on a card. Simple solution . . . either buy a mini flat iron and run the Neon Rays through it quickly after it heats up. Or . . .because I’m too impatient to wait for my flat iron to heat up . . .I run the length of the thread between my fingernails and few times, pressing really hard. Problem solved.

Neon Rays is 100% rayon which is why it is so slippery. But that’s what gives it an incredible shine. It’s a very “strong” thread. What I mean by that is that because it is so shiny it can become overpowering in a piece. When I look at piece and decide which threads to use, one question I ask myself is “should this be shiny?” If so, Neon Rays is your thread of choice.

Another funny tidbit about this thread is that it has a long lost cousin, Ribbon Floss. So, if you can’t find the color you’re looking for in Neon Rays, move on over to the Ribbon Floss rack at the store. They are identical threads other than the colors. But this only applies to Neon Rays, not Neon Rays+ and the Shimmer and Metallic Ribbon floss. Those threads are different, but I’ll save that for another day.

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