Calais cocoons are a coloured 3 ply lace thread, the term ply meaning strands. This thread is singed rapidly in a gas flame which removes any fluff and makes it smooth. The Calais threads are then mercerised, a treatment which makes the thread shiny and soft to the touch.
Calais cocoons are made in France by Ets Toulemonde, the last remaining French thread manufacturer. Ets Toulemonde own the Fil Au Chinois brand since 2007 when the previous owner was in receivership and the brand was in danger of disappearing. The packaging and labelling was re-designed by Frédérique Crestin-Billet. You can read an article on our blog dedicated to the history of Fil Au Chinois.
Made from high quality cotton thread, Calais cocoons can be used not only for bobbin lace: we use them for embroidery, especially cross stitch. See our Eiffel Tower pattern chart using the variegated Calais cocoons. Attention: you must make whole crosses to preserve the effect of this thread.