Stranded cotton

Stranded cotton embroidery floss is the thread I use the most for Needlepainting and Whitework Embroidery. It is comprised of 6 easily separated strands and I use one strand. DMC stranded cotton is the brand I tend to use the most. It is readily available from most high street and online needlework stores throughout the world. I also use other brands such as Cosmo or Anchor as an alternative or together with DMC.

How to use stranded cotton

You will use one strand of thread, unless otherwise directed in the instructions.

All thread has a nap which is the direction the pile lies.  To ensure that you thread the needle with the nap in the same direction each time use this method:

a)  Cut off a length of thread about 50 – 60cm is good, and tie a knot at one end (A)

b)  Separate one strand from the six (B)

c)  Cut this off near the knot and thread the other end into the needle.


Silk Thread

There are many brands of silk on the market, I tend to favor Au Ver A Soie d'alger as it is easy to handle and good quality. Silk is used in the same way as stranded cotton.

Sewing Cotton

I use one strand of polyester sewing cotton for fine outlines and details. Any good quality sewing thread can be used such as Gutermann, Metler, Coats etc. COLOUR MATCHING You will need to match the sewing thread to the DMC colour stated in your embroidery instructions. It needs to be close but does not need to be an exact match. 

To Split Sewing Cotton

You can either use one strand of the sewing cotton as is, or you can split it into two for very fine details.
a)  Cut off a piece of sewing thread about 40cm.
b)  pull it apart and divide into two strands.
c)  Use one fine strand for outlining.