Hedgehog Handworks: About Metal Threads
Since the metal threads we carry are imported, our supply on hand may vary. In order to have a full stock at all times, we are now buying from a variety of sources. Unfortunately, some of these sources use the English designation and numbering, and some use the French. We will substitute same quality and same size, but French or English named when necessary to fill your order in a timely fashion. If you have a preference, please let us know when ordering.
Purl (the English term) or Bullion (the French term) is produced by winding plated wire around a form to produce a hollow coil. Depending on the form used in manufacture, different shapes, textures, and finishes are created. They are produced from copper wire which is plated with silver (for silver finishes) then with about half a percent of gold (for gold finishes). The different shapes of purl available are described below, followed by terminology and comparison charts.
- Smooth Purl (Bullion Brillant)
- This is made by wrapping a flattened wire around a round needle. It looks like a tiny, shiny spring. Once stretched it does not go back into its original shape.
- Rough Purl (Bullion Matte)
- This is also made by wrapping wire around a round form, but with round wire to produce a dull finish. It also looks like a tiny spring and does not revert to its original form when stretched.
- Pearl Purl (Jaceron)
- This looks like a tiny string of pearls. It is produced by wrapping a heavy round wire around a round needle. It is stretched slightly before couching.
- Check Purl (Frieze Brillant)
- This is made by wrapping the wire onto a square mold. The angles cause the wire to sparkle. It doesn't sprint back if stretched out.
- Crimped Purl (Faconnee)
- This is a round coil which has been crimped at regular intervals along its length.
- Wire Bullion and Bright Bullion
- In English terminology, "bullion" describes the size of purls traditionally used for military dress uniforms. It is larger than purl sizes #5 or #7. Wire bullion is matte, while Bright Bullion is shiny, and both were used historically to decorate ornate shoulder epaulets.
- Japan Thread
- This is metallized polyester, cut into thin strips and wound on a thread core. It is usually applied by couching.
- This is a large, twisted cord made up of many individual plies of a metallic passing thread.
- Passing Thread
- A metallic thread that is thin enough to be sewn through fabric.
|Rough Purl||Bullion Matte|
|Smooth Purl||Bullion Brilliant|
|Bright Check Purl||Frieze Brilliant|
|Super Pearl Purl||#4 Jaceron|
|#1 Pearl Purl||#7 Jaceron|
|#3 Pearl Purl||#10 Jaceron|