HNW - floss substitute-cotton or rayon?

Valerie Frazier frazierv at
Mon May 10 09:33:37 PDT 1999

When I first started to work opus anglicanum I  used DMC cotten floss.
Than I found Ping Ling silk.  This is an 8 ply silk with very little
twist.  It is wonderful for split stitch and has a marvolous sheen.  And
it is really not that expensive.  It runs between 2.50 & 2.80 a spool.
It is put out by Krineck (?).  If you contact them they can put you in
contact with stores that sell it.

What I did was dedicate 25.00 each month to the purchase of Ping Ling.
At the end of a year I had a good palette to work from.  Now I spend
about 25.00 every 3 months to replenish my stash.

While I think rayon can be a good substitute for silk, I also think it
has a harsh shine to it.  The sheen that silk has is very different.
Silk also works very differently from rayon.  My advice would be to
spend the extra time and money to collect the real thing before starting
an opus anglicanum or Or Nue project.  You will be happier in the long
run with the finished product.

Please excuse my spelling.

Valerie Frazier
(Letitia de Scotia)
>I have done embroidery with both DMC cotton and DMC rayon.  So, it depends on
>what you're looking for.  I believe that as to shiny, the rayon is better.
>manageability, cotton is better.

>From photos of extant embroideries prior to Elizabethan, say 12th-14th
>centuries, the silk floss is pretty shiny.  I make the conjecture that it has
>dulled a bit over time and feel that originally it was pretty darn shiny.
>cotton just doesn't gleam the same way.  However, the cotton is oh so much
>easier to use.  The rayon, when you pull 1 thread is kinky.  So if you do
>stitch it's kind of well, poofy or slightly waved.  But if you do *small*
>or split (split is a drag with any twisted fiber IMHO) stitches it's quite
>For Elizabethan you could go either way.      ~M~
>> One of these days I will get around to trying opus anglicanum, or nue',
>> and Elizabethan-type work with detatched buttonhole stitch filling.  Until
>> I gain some facility (and a lot of money) I'll be using something besides
>> reeled silk.  As far as appearance goes, would cotton or rayon floss be
>> better?
>Cynthia Long
>Merouda the True of Bornover
>Barony of Madrone
>Kingdom of An Tir
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