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Shrinking thread

cafms | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

On the CraftStylish (formerly SewStylish) site I found an article about “Incredible Shrinking Thread.”  Has anyone used it and where did you find it?  Who is the manufacturer? It sounded like an interesting embellishment.  It seems like there was an article about it in Threads some time back but I didn’t see it in the index.



  1. woodruff | | #1

    One source, Manchester Sewing Machine Center, is listed at the end of the article.http://www.craftstylish.com/item/817/quick-tip-of-the-week--incredible-shrinking-thread

    Edited 4/27/2008 11:29 am by woodruff

    1. cafms | | #2

      Thanks.  I had seen that but was hoping maybe someone knew of other sources.  I had looked at Clothilde's and Nancys Notions websites but didn't see it listed.  I wasn't sure where Manchester Sewing Center was located.  Also checked the shoppers rule site but you have to be a member to order.

      1. woodruff | | #4

        Manchester Sewing Center is in Manchester, CT. Here is their info:http://www.manchestersewing.com/StoreInfo.htmlThis thread seems to be a new notion, and I wasn't able to find more places that carry it. Did you want to physically see the stuff before buying it? If not, I'd probably just phone Manchester and order a spool. At nearly $8 a pop, it's pricey, but not more expensive than movie tickets in some areas, and experimenting with the thread and several fabrics in your stash would give you a ton of information plus some fun.

        1. cafms | | #6

          Thanks for the store location.  For some reason I thought maybe it was in England.  Don't know why.  Today I found some notes on a Chizimi thread I had made, probably last year or longer ago, from an America Sews episode.  It is a shrinking thread also.

          This is expensive too and seemed to get more so on each site I found when I Googled Chizimi thread.  Anyway it looks like it might be interesting to try on something.

  2. Josefly | | #3

    I hadn't heard of this thread before, so I appreciate your post. I'm wondering how a design like this would be used in a garment - in other words, if the fabric puckers up where the design has been stitched, wouldn't it be difficult to lay a pattern piece on the fabric, and keep it on grain? How have you envisioned using this technique? The writer of the article mentions the types of fabrics she's used successfully, and that stabilizers are counter-productive. But no mention of how she used the resulting embellished fabric. What kinds of applications are possible?

    1. cafms | | #5

      Part of the reason for posting this was to get some ideas on using it.  I am putting together some ideas for a Master Clothing Volunteers 3 day meeting this summer and happened across the article I mentioned.  It looked interesting and possibly something new to our group. 

      Well, this afternoon I was looking through a folder of notes I keep about things to try and there was a note on a Chizimi shrinking thread from an America Sews episode, I think.  I Googled Chizimi thread and got several sites.  On one from Martha Pullen someone used it in an area where smocking would go on a dress.

      http://www.sewcreative-ne.com/ This is a store in Nebraska that must stock it and gives instructions for using it here  http://www.sewcreative-ne.com/Chizimi.html 

      This is another from Huskvarna Viking.  http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/us/media/Chizimi.pdf

      http://www.threadandmore.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=6064  This is in Dallas and has some other ideas.

      It does seem a little expensive but we may try it. 


      1. Josefly | | #7

        Thank you for those links. From the description, it seems to me that, for use in a garment, fabric would be stitched over a large area, like across a yoke-shaped area at the shoulder and across the chest and/or back, or perhaps in a band across the midriff under the bust, maybe even to the waist, to draw the fabric in for shaping the garment. Or a skirt could be stitched from the waist to the hip, and then released at the hip to form a fuller skirt. The density of the stitching could increase or decrease, depending on whether the fabric needs to be drawn in or released. It would take some experimentation with the fabric to be used to determine how much shrinkage there would be, and how dense the stitching would have to be to provide shaping above or below the bust, without having to add darts. When I saw the article posted in the CraftStylish blog, all I could imagine was something like the relatively small design shown, and wondered how that could be used - maybe on a pocket, or on a collar or cuffs. But I see now that it could be quite nice done on a larger scale. I wonder if a garment made with this sort-of-smocking technique would need to be stabilized with a lining or non-fusible, sewn-in interfacing, so that it wouldn't stretch back out with wearing. One of the links you sent did mention that if the fabric is ironed after stitching, it might lose the puffed effect.

        1. cafms | | #8

          One of the links said shrinkage was about 30%, I think.

          One of the pictures looked almost like it was several rows of short ends of stitching in a checker board design.  I guess grainlline would be determined by the unsitched areas and the stitched areas would be pulled up such that grain might not matter.  Might be good to stitch carefully and try to maintain the with or cross grain.

          A design such as on CraftStylish might work on a pillow or in a larger area of fabric  - maybe a skirt or jacket back.

          1. Josefly | | #9

            Yes, I noticed that checkerboard design, too, and liked it very much. I would like to see a piece of fabric with that floral design, to see if wrinkles radiate out from the stitching, or if it lies flat. I guess I'll have to do my own experimenting, since it varies with the weight of the fabric. I'd like to hear about your experience with it when you try it out, too.

            Edited 4/30/2008 10:00 am ET by Josefly

          2. PASDENOM | | #10

            I saw some scarves made of chiffon with stitched, puckered areas creating pleats and folds radiating around them and couldn't figure out how they were done. This was probably it.

          3. cafms | | #11

            Oh, another interesting idea.  Thanks.   

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