Three thicknesses of gold thread, from top to bottom: #8, #3, and #1
As most embroiderers out there will know metallic threads are composed of a gold or silver section wound in a spiral around a fabric core. Sometimes for very fine work in Japanese embroidery it is necessary to use a thread which is even finer than the #1 shown above, in order to achieve this the core is removed from a #1 thread.
To do this first cut a length of thread and holding it towards one end gently untwist it so that the core is exposed.
Untwisting the core
Once you get hold of the core hold the metallic gently and, pulling on the core, gradually ease the metallic section down the core and off the other end.
Pulling the core
Once the core is completely removed the metallic section which is left can be combined with a silk thread (1/2 or 3/4 of a strand) and used to stitch fine motifs giving them just a hint of gold or silver.
From top to bottom; core of #1 metallic, #1 gold without core, #1 gold with core