Friday 21 August 2015

Embroidery threads .....

There are all sorts of embroidery threads and needles and sizes.  I have been asked recently about this subject so I have gathered what I know and researched as well on wiki and this is the best piece of overall information on the subject that I found.

I think really you need to use what you like and as long as you have the correct needle for the job then there is no right or wrong.  I prefer hand dyed threads and also my preference is not perle ones which are more shiny ... for me the matt colours and some with different hues of the same colour within a length of thread pleases me.  Especially blues for sea or shell colours they look more natural when stitched to the real thing...

If I can find some vintage thread then of course I will use that when possible, especially if you get a nice little bundle that will last for your design.  I have picked up a whole package of white cotton thread that is around 1930's and I am over the moon with it. Also the above cottons still in original packaging boxes from Italy.... so they can be found still, just keep your eyes peeled at vintage fairs and jumble sales and even the odd boot sale when someone is house clearing!

Embroidery thread is yarn that is manufactured or hand-spun specifically for embroidery  and other forms of  needlework.
Threads for hand embroidery include:
  • Crewel yarn is a fine 2-ply yarn of wool  or, less often, a wool-like acrylic .
  • Embroidery floss or stranded cotton is a loosely twisted, slightly glossy 6-strand thread, usually of cotton but also manufactured in silk, linen and rayon. . Cotton floss is the standard thread for cross stitch. Extremely shiny rayon floss is characteristic of Brazilian embroidery . Historically, stranded silk embroidery threads were described as sleaved or sleided in the sixteenth century.
  • Filoselle is a historical term for embroidery floss made using the leftover waste from reeled silk.
  • Matte embroidery cotton or French coton à broder is a matte-finish (not glossy) twisted 5-ply thread.
  • Medici or broder medici is a fine, light-weight wool thread formerly manufactured by DMC Group.
  • Perle cotton, pearl cotton, or French  coton perlé is an S-twisted, 2-ply thread with high sheen, sold in five sizes or weights (No. 3, 5, 8, 12 and 16 (Finca), with 3 being the heaviest and 16 the finest).
  • Persian yarn is a loosely twisted 3-strand yarn of wool or acrylic, often used for needlepoint. t.
  • Tapestry yarn or tapestry wool is a tightly twisted 4-ply yarn.

Well I hope you have found the above useful with all the different cotton threads that are available and as I say keep looking for vintage ones as well.

So my list for tomorrow is getting longer!  Have a great weekend and do not forget to come back tomorrow with a great stitch of the week from Mary Corbet ........

Happy Stitching!


  1. Sarah,
    Always everything you do!
    Diane@babiesbridesandlavender x

    1. Diane,

      Thank you so much for your very kind words. It is always nice to know that what you are writing or designing is on the right track.

      I would like to say to everyone reading this if you have not seen Diane's work then please take a look at Diane@babiesbridesandlavender

      Especially those of you who live in America as this lovely talented lady lives there!

      Hug back x