Tonkin embroidery thread has been produced for a long time by Ets. Toulemonde, but it was mainly sold to industrials and had not been named. One day I saw this thread when I visited their works and was convinced that it would be perfect for embroidery. A few weeks later, this was done but we had to find a name, which is never easy. After much thought, I found it amusing to give a nod to the Fil Au Chinois brand and find a name reflecting the Orientalism that was popular in days gone by. Tonkin is the name of an ex French protectorate which was part of French Indochina in 1884.
Tonkin is a gimped yarn, which signifies that is has a base, in this case a strand of gold lurex, which is encompassed by a polyester thread. This bulk polyester has a slightly puffy aspect. In general a gimped yarn is an assembly of two threads, the outer layer protecting the inner. This operation is carried out on special machines with hollow rods through which the core thread is passed.
Available in 24 colours, this polyester thread contains a fine strand of gold lurex which gives it a touch of class. Unlike other metal-based threads, Tonkin thread is delightful to use because it doesn’t fray whilst embroidering. Tonkin thread is a bulk polyester gimped yarn which gives it a slightly puffed aspect.
Originally, Tonkin thread was produced for industries, notably for professionnal haute couture embroiderers. Available in 24 colours, this polyester thread contains a fine strand of lurex which gives a touch of class. Unlike other metal-based threads, Tonkin thread is delightful to use because it doesn't fray whilst embroidering.
For large or professional projects, the embroidery Tonkin thread is also available in 1 000m cones. Attention: they are on order, delivery times can vary according to colours and quantities. The main advantage of polyester is that it dries quickly, which is why many professionals favour it for making jewellery, especially bracelets.