Kreinik keeping pace with modern crafters

PARKERSBURG – With the newest generation of crafters demanding ever faster and simpler projects, Kreinik Manufacturing Company, at 1708 Gihon Road, prides itself on keeping pace with the times.

Kreinik Co. was started in 1972 and catered primarily to the cross stitching crowd with an array of six colors and three thread types, said Doug Kreinik, owner and operator of Kreinik Manufacturing Co.

Since Kreinik bought the business from his parents, he has expanded on the company’s offerings and worked to make certain his company meets the needs of modern crafters, he said.

Today, the Kreinik Co. offers 260 colors of thread in eight varieties, Kreinik said. These hues are known world-wide for the warmth they bring to pieces they are used in, he said.

The company manufactures all of its thread products in the unassuming building on the side of Gihon Road in Parkersburg.

The walls of the offices are decorated with hand-made pieces that are up to 27 years old. From vibrantly colored mice to traditional angels, pieces made of silk and gauze, adia and cotton cover spaces along the hallways and lead into the factory floor.

Among the framed pieces are examples of traditional cross stitching, Turkish stitching, Brazilian embroidery, string art and many others. They originate from countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia and India, Kreinik said.

Three-dimensional pieces and traditional single-plane pieces stand side-by-side, showing off what Kreinik Co. threads have the ability to do to almost any piece.

The Kreinik Co. factory specializes in silk and metallic threads, and caters to the upper end of the crafting industry, Kreinik said. Kreinik has traveled the world in order to meet many of his distributors and keep in touch with what the public wants, he said.

Today, Kreinik Co. has branched out beyond just cross stitching, Kreinik said. The company offers its hundreds of colors in multiple weights and styles, from single strands that can be cross stitched with to iron-on thread for scrap booking purposes.

Options abound in the Kreinik Co. line-up. Wired and non-wired metallic threads line the walls on cones and spools in neat lines. Thread widths vary from almost as fine as a human hair to one-eighth-inch-thick ribbon. Threads that glow in the dark are as common as styles that are designed to make a fishing lure sink just below the surface of the water, all on cones alongside traditional knitting yarn.

In keeping with the times, the Kreinik Co. has shifted gears in recent years to offer more than just cones of thread on shelves, Kreinik said. Ready-to-use crafting kits are stacked on shelves in the factory, ready to be opened and put to use, he said.

“The modern crafter doesn’t want to spend time looking around for the pieces needed to craft with,” Kreinik said. “They want to be able to pick something up and have everything there, and finish it within a couple of hours,” he said.

To that end, Kreinik Co. has been creating kits for everything from fly tying to string art, providing everything needed to get started and be creating art within minutes, Kreinik said.

Thread options available in kits and on cones include a holographic style, with different layers that create a holographic effect on the piece being worked on, jaceron, which looks like a row of tiny pearls and facets which is thread designed to look like thousands of tiny glass beads already on a piece of thread.

Even without the kits, the colors that Kreinik Co. produces will always be some of its most well-known creations, Kreinik said.

“Some of our most popular colors are white hues called pearl and marshmallow, which we then mix with our others to create gourmet colors that shine,” Kreinik said.

Kreinik Co. not only creates their threads in-house, but they can combine any two or more colors into a new, unique color through their braiding machines, Kreinik said.

This proprietary technology is housed in a loud room where ear protection is required before entering. Inside, dozens of machines twirl endlessly in circles, which themselves twirl in a larger circle, in order to fully combine the different colors of materials into braids and threads of all types, Kreinik said.

Most types of Kreinik Co. thread are available on 50 meter spools for $1.65, or on larger cones for $5.25 a cone, Kreinik said.

Locally, Kreinik Co. products can be picked up at Bolts and Quarters Quilt Shop at 1809 DuPont Rd. Suite 1, and many other stores in the area will place special orders, Kreinik said.

Kreinik has seen the recent trend toward weaving in the crafting world and has shifted his personal crafting attentions toward learning the skill, he said.

Learning how to craft is an important part of the Kreinik Co. world, Kreinik said.

The Kreinik Co. went to the Maker Faire in Detroit last year, where it taught more than 1,000 people how to cross stitch, knit, crochet and spin, Kreinik said.

Teaching those who want to learn new crafting skills is just as important in keeping up with the times as creating easy-to-use kits is, Kreinik said.

The Kreinik Co. also offers 137 types and sizes of sewing needles, including gold-plated and titanium styles, Kreinik said. They also carry a customized line of sewing scissors, Kreinik said.

The Kreinik Co. will continue to offer new products, create new crafting kits and fill special orders as they are requested, Kreinik said. But at the end of the day, it will always be about the thread it makes and what it can be used to create, he said.