My trip to Aurifil HQ in Milan December 01, 2015 11:00 2 Comments

Recently I spent a day at Aurifil HQ in Milan, invited by the very lovely Brad Mitchell who is the UK sales manager and, as it turns out, grew up just down the road from me in West Yorkshire. During my day in Saronno I learnt about the history of the company, saw the production process at the factory and planned my first collaboration with them at the Craft, Hobby and Stitch show in the UK next February (yippee).

 I love Aurifil thread like so many other people out there and bought my first batch from Lisa and Justine at Simply Solids who have a really good supply here in England. I not only use it for quilting but also for producing my textile art.  In my Crafty Fox picture he is sat using Aurifil for the quilt he is making.  I used 50 wt cotton to hand piece the blocks in this quilt (which is just 8 inches square in the original).  Linen and Lana threads were used to add details to the fox's fur.  Metallic Brillo thread was perfect for small details like the pins and needle and Aurifloss added pops of colour for the pin heads (french knots) and on the cushions.

I also use Aurifil in some of the dressmaking that I do. 

I tend to use 50wt spools for constructing loose-fitting cotton and silk garments and 40wt for sewing wool and heavier cloth. I have also used 28wt for decorative stitching on both denim and leather and 12wt for hand quilting (more online tutorials on these subjects coming soon!)

It’s a fact that Aurifil is high quality. We all know that Egyptian cotton sheets are the finest and most luxurious so the same applies to the thread which as a raw material is extra long staple cotton produced in Egypt (mako) and only exported in limited amounts.

 

The Lana range (in Italian lana means wool) is also super high quality with the raw materials coming from Merino sheep in Austrailia, world famous for producing the finest and softest wool there is. It is 12wt and I used it here on this picture I stitched during a workshop with textile artist Gillian Travis.

To put it briefly (as there are so many other blog posts out there on this subject) the main advantages over other threads are:

  • Aurifil is produced in a way that any lint is burnt away and so it doesn’t leave a lot of fluff in your machine that makes it unhappy and prone to jamming.
  •  It is very good value because you get 1300m on a spool which costs approx. £8.50 in the UK. A Gutterman spool that looks about the same size has just 800m of thread on it and very little price difference – rrp is around £7, just £1.50 less for 500m less thread.
  •  The most popular 50wt thread is very fine but strong so to put it simply you get a lot more thread on your bobbin, and have to change is a lot less often than when using other cottons. As running out of bobbin thread is my pet hate when sewing this fact makes me very happy.
  •  It is also very strong but easy to unpick and breaks easily with a seam ripper without distorting the fabric you are using.

 

The danger is that it is very hard to purchase just one spool of Aurifil when you see it, the special collection cases are especially tempting, so perhaps you buy more than you need and think the cost is higher (or is that just me?) I also love the very traditional wooden spools used for the floss and was a bit giddy when I came across boxes full of these at the factory.

So Aurifil is great, everybody should have some and gradually it is arriving in more haberdasheries and shops around the UK. In my next post I will tell you a bit more about our collaboration and the history of the company and its name.  So please pop back soon.

My Crafty Fox picture is available as a card and print in my online shop (I ship worldwide):-

http://www.jenni-smith.co.uk/collections/prints/products/crafty-fox-limited-edition-print

You can buy Aurifil from these stockists and more in the UK :- 

www.simply-solids.co.uk

www.newthreads.co.uk

 

Please also feel free to make comments, I am quite new to blogging and it would be nice to have some feedback!