An important factor to consider when learning how to embroider is your choice of embroidery thread.

If you are new to hand embroidery I would recommend that you choose a stranded embroidery cotton, such as DMC. There are lots of different threads on the market and the choice can be overwhelming. Stranded embroidery cotton is easy to work with and comes in a huge range of colors. It is purchased in hanks.

embroidery threads

DMC stranded cotton is made up of 6 finer strands. Your embroidery pattern will normally tell you how many starnds to use, two being the most common. It is important to match the number of strands with the right size needle. If you are having difficulty pulling the needle through your fabric, chances are you are using too many threads for the size of your needle.

Keeping your threads clean and tidy is important. Getting into good habits from the start will help to reduce tangles. It is good idea to purchase a thread box. A thread box is made up of small compartments and bobbins which are normally plastic or cardboard. Wind the embroidery thread onto a bobbin and label the bobbin with the brand of thread and the number.

This is a must. There is nothing more annoying than running out of a thread and then trying to match it.

embroidery threads

My other tip for embroidery thread is to resist the temptation of cutting the length too long. Whilst this reduces the number of times you need to thread your needle it will increase tangles when you are working. A good rule of thumb is to measure from the tip of your fingers to your elbow.



Embroidery Thread for Hand Embroidery

4 thoughts on “Embroidery Thread for Hand Embroidery

  • February 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Now I know what it is called. Hanks to store the different treads. I’m just starting to do crazy quilts. And wondered what the best thread is to use. I have been on your blog a lot. And have it full of great information.

  • February 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    While DMC offers a wide range of colors I think the Aurifil 12wt cotton is hands down the best hand embroidery thread out there. One fray, glides through fabric.

  • February 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    DMC thread would be fine to use for your crazy quilt, although feel free to experiment. Using a variety of threads could work well and will give an interesting effect.

  • September 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I purchased a crazyquilt top which was dated 1910-1950. (fabric age) The entire top was embellished with rayon threads which are very easy to work with if you run beeswax a couple of times over the length of thread. You do not want the wax to build up to the point of dulling the shine. Wax will help you control the thread. My quilt top was embroidered with a variety of stitches, buttons, laces and ribbons.

    The project took me 5 years to finish but, the size of the quilt is double bed!

    To finish the back side, I had 1950 satin cotton in blue/green color. Silk ties where cut into long bias strips was used to bind the edges.

    The rayon floss was well worth the effort to stitch with.

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