Stitching with Double Thread
Using double thread means that rather
than one strand creating the stitch, there are two, handled as one. This
technique may be used for several reasons; sometimes it's just plain
faster if there is a large area to be covered in one color, especially
on a larger mari. However, it more often it is called for to create
specific pattern effects or emphasis.
Either way, for it to be truly
effective both threads need to be kept from crossing and twisting as you
lay them down and stitch. In general, handling multiple strands properly
is called "stripping and laying" - but when it refers to using 2
strands, the nickname has become "railroading" (for obvious reasons).
Often the needle or a laying tool is used to straighten and align the
multiple threads as they are laid down and stitched into place, but
railroading is a wonderful method to use for 2-strand work that makes it
The actual "double thread" itself
can be prepared in different ways. Ideally, two lengths of thread are
cut, laid next to each other, and handled as one thread, inserting both
into the eye of the needle when threading it. Alternatively, one longer
length may be cut, the single end threaded into the needle, and then the
thread is "doubled" - folded in half so the two ends are together, and
the "loop" that is formed in the middle of the thread when folded in
half is in the eye of the needle. Choose the one that works best for you
(I prefer the first, since it's much easier to start, and correct,
stitching while in progress).
When taking a stitch, let the
threads lay across where you intend to take the stitch and hold them
with your thumb; then ease the point of the needle between the two
threads and into the spot where the stitch is to be. As you pull the
threads through, they will flip evenly without twists. Another version
of this tip is to lay the threads, take the stitch and bring your needle
up through the two threads as shown below:
Lay threads in place to stitch; here it is left to right.
Needle is inserted right to left for stitch.
|Pull the needle
& thread through. Needle & working threads are between
the double strand.
Finish and snug up the stitch; threads should lie flat and
smooth. Adjust if needed.
Completed stitches, with all threads laying parallel, no
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