I discovered Valdani Hand Dyed Threads about a year ago, when I was working on my Paisley Pavane quilt. I absolutely love them! They really are hand-dyed though I can’t imagine how they go about doing that without losing their minds. I mean, hand dyed fabric is one thing, but thread? Anyway, Valdani is a cotton thread, and it comes in two weights and a pretty large assortment of colors. Variegated thread adds such a wonderful touch to quilts, and cotton thread is so much easier to work with than rayon.
I used a lot of different variegated rayon threads (Sulky brand) in my Butterfly Houses quilt, and it turned out okay, but it’s very slippery and difficult to work with and I worry about those machine quilting anchor stitches coming loose easily. I wasn’t planning to wash those quilts, so the anchor stitches will probably hold up, but I wouldn’t use a lot of rayon threads for something that would be washed frequently (I did use just a bit of rayon on Paisley Pavane, but that quilt was washed once and only once, to remove the quilting line markings).
The Valdani threads have very short color sections compared to other variegated threads on the market (Signature Thread’s King Tut line of variegated threads has pretty short color sections, but they are not hand-dyed). You get some wonderful dimensional effects with these threads when used for quilting. Beware: variegated threads are addicting, just like fat quarter bundles. The colors are all so pretty, you can’t stop with just one spool.
You can find Valdani threads at a couple of different shops online (do a Google search or visit Valdani’s homepage). Most recently, I’ve found them (for a great price) at Birgit’s Patchcom shop in Schoenaich, just a short drive from my house.