Jerry M. Kreinik

Last week we lost another pioneer and innovator in the needlepoint world. Until Kreinik threads came along we stitched mostly in wool. Those really adventurous stitches might chose silk or cotton but metallic threads? …unheard of in the late 60’s and 70’s. 

I never met Jerry Kreinik but I remember the first time I saw the Kreinik threads.

We have always had at least two needlepoint shops in town, sometimes as many as 4 or 5 shops in the 70’s. At one shop in particular, they still hold needlepoint in their hands (no frames) and as a friend of mine once said: they have the most Paternayan wool (tapestry and rug) of any shop she had ever been into. At one point in time (70’s) this shop was the best game in town and it was also closest to my house. They had walls of wool, a spin rack of DMC threads (maybe 30 basic colors of floss and perle) and the silk was in a bag in the back room and a basket on the cash register counter with Kreinik threads in gold and silver.

This is where I first saw and bought a Kreinik thread. I had gone in to purchase thread (wool) to make my sons’ school Christmas ornaments…I made a simple Christmas ornament for every teacher who taught my kids (sometimes 20 ornaments…I had 3 sons), the school principal and his secretary (she has a complete set of ornaments I made over the years).  As I was paying for the wool I saw this basket with metallic thread; I thought the gold thread would be a bit of sparkle for the ornament and I could also use a piece of it for the hanger. The then owner of the shop told me I really didn’t want it, the metallic thread would discolor and then I would have black marks on my needlework.  I bought the thread anyway!

I never pick up a spool of Kreinik thread (remember when it on a heavy cardboard spool?) that I don’t think of this shop owner…little did she know that this thread would change needlepoint forever. No longer were we limited to wool, cotton or silk now we could add sparkle!

Jerry Kreinik was an innovator who allows us to think outside the box, to try something other than basketweave in wool and to add sparkle to our art.

Thank you, Mr Kreinik.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today with some Kreinik!  ttfn…sue


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