What Polymer Clay is Best for Millefiori

Millefiori Polymer Clay

I get asked this question a lot… "What polymer clay is best for millefiori?"

The answer is a firm clay that won’t easily distort.

There are a few different brands of polymer clay that are best for millefiori or polymer clay cane making and some that are terrible.

The ones that are good are Fimo Classic, Premo, and Kato Clay. Fimo Classic is the firmest and therefore distorts the least when slicing or reducing the canes. However some artists find it hard to condition and work with. Both Premo and Kato Clay are easier to work with and are firm enough to make great polymer clay millefiori canes.

Since I am going on what I have heard about Kato Clay and have not actually used it myself yet, I recommend using Premo, which is easy to find and gets excellent results. Of course once I do try Kato I may like it better, so my recommendation may change.

The worst polymer clays for millefiori are the soft clays like Sculpey III and Fimo Soft. Since they are so soft, the image distorts easily down the length of the cane and smears when it is sliced into. If you want to try using these clays for caning you will need to firm up the clay considerably by leaching out some of the plasticizers on a piece of paper. Even with this technique you may find it difficult to achieve the detailed canework that you can achieve with Premo, Fimo Classic, and Kato Clay.

If you have any further questions about "What Polymer clay is best for millefiori," then please do leave a comment below. I will do my best to answer as soon as possible.

  1. Cindy Lietz, 06 March, 2008

    Earlier today, I also posted Millefiori Polymer Clay Tip #34 plus a preview video clip for my Tutorial Series on How to Make Polymer Clay Canes.

    You also might may want to have a look at these posts:
    Common Polymer Clay Brands in North America
    Polymer Clay Pasta Machine – How To Firm Up Soft Clay

  2. cherol filbee, 30 April, 2012

    I am new to polymer but have had a lot of fun making canes. I have enjoyed working with Du-Kit . It is a New Zealand brand and I have yet to see any commentary on it. I would be interested to hear what others think.

  3. Cindy Lietz, 07 May, 2012

    Well Cherol, I was hoping one of our New Zealand members would be able to help you, but maybe they haven’t tried Du-Kit clay yet? Maybe you should pick up a pack or two and test it out? I am not familiar with the brand and would love to hear your thoughts on it. If you do try it, come back and let us know what you think about it!

  4. cherol filbee, 07 May, 2012

    I really enjoy working with Du-Kit but it is the only clay I have used so far, for canes. Perhaps I should try a couple of other brands so I have a comparison.I have tried studio sculpey for figure modelling and enjoyed that. Having come from cake decoration and working with icing that has a very short working time (it dries out so quickly) any other medium is a treat to work with.

  5. Katina, 24 August, 2008

    If you don’t have a pasta machine how long would you leave out the clay for it to firm up on it’s own? And, how would you know it’s finally firm enough?

  6. Cindy Lietz, 30 August, 2008

    That is a great question Katina! The exact time you need to leave your clay out on a piece of paper to leach out the excess polymers, depends on how soft it was in the first place. I have had to leave clay out over night to get it firm enough.

    I have tried to figure out how to describe the firmness and came up with this. Press your thumb and forefinger together. It should be about that firm. If you press your finger to your palm, that is way too soft. If you press your finger to the table, that is way too hard.

    Hope that helps!

  7. Jane Kempf, 02 January, 2009

    I would like to learn advanced millefiori cane making for use in my studio. I currently cover glass with canes, but need more advanced tutoring. I would like to make intricate designs.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 02 January, 2009

    Thank you Jane for your comment! Right now I am putting together some videos on canework for the beginner and intermediate level. After I have serviced that level properly I will move on to more advanced cane tutorials.

    Hopefully the info you learn here at my blog is helpful even if it is not yet as advanced as you would like to see.

    You should know that some canes that appear to be advanced, may actually be quite easy. There are also many tips and tricks that you may not know about on how to use your canes. Feel free to ask any specific questions and I will do what I can to help you out.

  9. Linda B, 28 February, 2009

    I was watching some of your videos and went to the recipe page. I realized that I didn’t have any of the “Bonus” colors. As a member, am I able to receive those? If not, can you tell me how I can get them? I love mixing my own colors. I have a new pc and still learning how to get around on it. I messed up my password and got that fixed. I just love your blog and your videos. I have told several friends to get on and check your blog out. I think it’s great. I have learned so much. Thank you so much for explaining so even I can understand.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 28 February, 2009

    Hi Linda,

    In regards to your question about the bonus color recipes, I’ll take this opportunity to let you as well as everyone else know how they work.

    Every month with the your library subscription, you will automatically receive 4 tutorial videos and 4 A-recipes.

    The B-Recipes (Bonus-Recipes) are given away for free to those who subscribe to my Polymer Clay Guest List Newsletter.

    Every week in this newsletter, I provide directions on how to download 2 new recipe cards to add to your collection.

    This is the only way you can get the bonus recipes. So if you have not already done so, please follow the link by my name above to subscribe to my Polymer Clay Newsletter.

    And it should go without saying that when you receive my newsletter editions in your inbox each week, that you will need to open the emails and actually read them. I say this because I’m always amazed at the number of people who subscribe but never actually read the emails.

    And for anyone who just recently subscribed to the newsletter, or if you happen to have missed some of the bonus recipes, then be sure to always be watching for my emails. I occasionally provide special instructions on how to access archived recipes that you may have missed.

    PS: Thanks Linda for telling your friends about this blog. I really appreciate it!

  11. Laura Magin, 16 July, 2017

    Hello Cindy, I have watched several of your videos on youtube. Thank for sharing your great polymer clay knowledge! Years ago I worked with sculpey III and made earrings, barretts, pins, Christmas ornaments and the list goes on. I did make some beads too and made canes when doing so. I mostly used sculpey III for most of my creations but can’t remember what type of clay I used for my canes. I just purchased a bunch of sculpey III with the intention of making beads. I have attempted making canes but am realizing that Sculpey III is too soft. Do you think I could use the Sculpey III at all for canes or should I not even attempt that? I guess I should stock up on Premo? What would you suggest?

  12. Cindy Lietz, 24 July, 2017

    Hi Laura, this is a great question that I will add to the list for a future LIVE Q&A Broadcast because there are a lot of people with the same question. (Sorry I’m not at my regular computer so I can’t add a link here, but if you search “Polymer Clay Tutor Weekly Q&A Replay Videos” you will find the post that speaks more about the Q&A videos.)

    The short answer is although it is possible to make canes from SculpeyIII, don’t bother. You’re right it is too soft and difficult, especially for someone new to cane making. Switch to Premo and you’ll have much better luck.

  13. Laura Magin, 24 July, 2017

    Hi Cindy, thank you SO MUCH for your response! I have purchased some Fimo and made some VERY successful canes…I’m thrilled with them! I also just recently bought some Premo for cane making. Fimo was great to work with. I am going to see how I like working with Premo too. I am learning SO MUCH from your videos, thank you so very much!

  14. Aggy L, 19 September, 2017

    Hi i would love to know what type of clay to choose from fimo clays assortion for millefiori canes. I see so many varities and im at loss.also do i bake before reducing or after?

  15. Cindy Lietz, 21 September, 2017

    Hi Aggy, I like to use Premo for all of my canes. It is an excellent all purpose clay. Other great brands for caning are Fimo Classic and Kato Polyclay. In regards to reducing it must be done before baking. I would suggest that you take my beginner’s course. It will teach what you need to know about working with polymer clay and you will learn a few simple canes as well. Here is the link for more info if you are interested: Polymer Clay Tutor Beginners Course

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