Embroidery floss is not the only thread to embroider. Did you know that there is a whole gamut of threads that you can use aside from embroidery floss?
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Does embroidery thread come in different thicknesses?
Embroidery thread comes in different thicknesses. They can come in a single strand or multiple strands like the six-stranded floss.
You can divide thick embroidery threads with many strands into smaller groups. You can use a strand or more depending on the thickness that your embroidery project needs.
Some embroidery threads come in a single strand with varying thicknesses. Some single strand sizes have equal thicknesses to grouped strands.
Is all embroidery thread the same?
No embroidery thread is the same. You can choose from a wide variety of embroidery threads for your embroidery work. With so many different options, choosing the threads to use can be overwhelming.
It would be good to know the different types of embroidery threads that you can use for your projects. You would be able to decide which thread would suit the type of embroidery you will work on.
Below are the different types and sizes of embroidery threads that you can choose from.
1. Stranded Embroidery Thread
The most common thread among all the embroidery threads is the stranded embroidery thread. It is popularly known as embroidery floss. It is composed of six strands that you can separate. You can use them separately or in groups depending on the thickness of the thread needed.
Usually, you use one strand of embroidery floss for needle painting. Needlepoint needs all six strands. Cross stitching usually uses two strands of embroidery floss.
The embroidery floss comes in a wide array of colors that a color code can identify. The thread is usually made from cotton, rayon, or silk. The famous brands for embroidery floss are DMC and Anchor.
2. Perle Cotton
The next most popular embroidery thread is Perle cotton. It comes as a single strand and is not separable. It also has a wide variety of colors indicated by a color code.
The Perle cotton comes in different thicknesses marked by a size number. The thinner the thread, the higher the size number.
The single-stranded Perle cotton comes in sizes 3, 5, 8, and 12. The single-stranded Perle cotton has a similar thickness in groups of stranded embroidery thread. The size #3 of Perle cotton is similar to 6 strands of embroidery floss, while a size #12 is comparable to a single strand of embroidery floss. But the most popular is size#8 because it is the perfect weight
Wool is used in wool embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch, or tapestry work. You can use wool to embroider, just like any embroidery thread. It is commonly used for projects that need some texture.
The thickness of wool is defined as the yarn weight. The thinnest is indicated as 0 Lace, and the thickest is 7 Jumbo. Crewel yarn is a type of wool that is used for Crewel embroidery.
Another kind of wool yarn is felted wool. This type of wool yarn undergoes a process called felting which creates a fuzzy texture. You can use felted wool for couching in your embroidery work.
Metallic embroidery threads are used to highlight embroidery work. It is often used in combination with other embroidery threads. The most popular colors of metallic threads are gold, silver, copper, and platinum. But they are also available in standard colors.
There are a few drawbacks to using metallic embroidery threads. It tarnishes, snags, tangles, and frays easily. Fabric embroidered with the metallic thread may be difficult to wash. So, the projects where you can use metallic threads may also be limited.
To help you stitch better with metallic threads, you can follow some of these tips.
- Use shorter lengths and only a few strands of metallic thread to stitch.
- It would help to use a big needle to reduce friction between the thread and the fabric.
- You can use a thread conditioner or dampen the thread to prevent tangles and snags.
- Combining a strand of metallic thread with a strand of standard embroidery floss is easier to work on.
Silk thread is a thin thread that is ideal for fine embroidery and needle painting. Sometimes it needs to be layered to achieve the required thickness.
Silk embroidery threads are available in attractive brilliant shades. But the problem with silk is that it tends to fade and bleed when washed.
The satin thread has the same shiny look and feels as silk thread. If you need these similar features to silk, satin threads are the less expensive option. Although, expect a lower quality from satin threads. They fray more easily than silk threads.
Rayon threads are synthetic threads available in bright colors. Its sheen is the same as silk. It is an excellent embroidery thread option for those who want to use attractive threads on a budget.
But rayon can be a bit difficult to work with because it knots and tangles easily. To prevent your rayon threads from tangling, use only short thread lengths. You can also use a fabric conditioner or dampen the thread before you start to embroider.
8. Novelty Threads
Novelty threads are threads with fancy textures used in addition to other threads to adorn embroidery work. Some novelty threads have a variety of effects like glitter, glow-in-the-dark, or fluorescence. Novelty threads are usually made of cotton, synthetic fibers, and wool, to name a few.
9. Variegated Threads
Variegated threads are made when different shades of a single color are combined in a single skein. Variegated threads come in silk, cotton, Perle cotton, rayon, or wool. Variegated threads can enhance your embroidery work to make it look more striking.
Using variegated thread is an exciting way to add a sense of texture to your embroidery work.
10. Overdyed Threads
Overdyed threads are cotton embroidery threads with strands dyed in various shades of color. Your embroidery work will achieve an extra colorful effect.
Floche is an embroidery thread made of cotton with a mercerized finish which gives it a beautiful sheen. This single-stranded, high-quality cotton thread will give your embroidery a luxurious look.
Floche embroidery thread is made of 5 strands but cannot be separated. It is the softer, shinier, more sophisticated, and more expensive version of the stranded cotton thread.
Ribbons are not really qualified as threads. But they are commonly used in embroidery. Ribbons have a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes and are usually made of cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers.
Ribbons are great materials for embroidery because of their smooth feel and sheen. You can enhance your embroidery projects with these added qualities.
Which thread is best for embroidery?
The embroidery thread most preferred and best to use for embroidery is the stranded embroidery cotton. It is usually called embroidery floss. You can see it in most embroidery work and cross stitch.
Embroidery floss has six strands that you can separate and use individually or in groups. You can use the number of strands you want depending on the effect on the project you are working on.
If you are doing fine and delicate embroidery work, you need to use only one strand of the embroidery floss. Multiple strands are used for cross stitch or needlepoint to add thickness and texture.
When it comes to embroidery floss, only two major brands would usually come to mind, DMC and Anchor.
DMC is the most common and most popular brand for cotton embroidery threads. It is almost synonymous with embroidery floss. You will find it in any yarn store, whether local, big, or small.
It has been around since 1746, which can completely vouch for its excellent quality. The DMC embroidery floss comes in a six-strand skein. You can untwist the floss so you can use the strands separately or in groups. It is available in a wide range of colors that have reached around 500 variants.
Anchor embroidery thread looks similar to DMC. It has a wide range of dazzling colors and is also made of 6 strands that can be used individually or in groups.
The threads were originally produced in Scotland in 1866 but are now made in Hungary. The Anchor brand has over 450 color choices to choose from. It has the same brilliance and quality as the DMC thread. One important thing to note is that both brands are number coded. The numbers do not indicate the same colors for both brands.
Your choice of brand to use now only depends on the availability and your color preferences. One great thing about these brands is that they are free from chemicals that are harmful to both humans and the environment.
You may want to try other embroidery threads, which may not be as common as these two popular brands. These threads may be cheaper than DMC or Anchor. They can be your budget-friendly choices, especially if you are starting to embroider. But remember that there may be no assurance of quality.
With the tried and tested brands, you are guaranteed enduring thread quality. You can also be sure that your threads are color and chemical safe.
Crafting is a personal endeavor. You should go with whatever would work best for your embroidery project. You can also consider your budget and your situation to help you decide which types of embroidery thread you can use.
Can you embroider with normal thread?
Normal thread can be used to embroider. Although, it is not the thread recommended by crafters. Normal thread is thinner than embroidery floss. So, you would need more strands of the normal thread to achieve the same result as the floss. It will also take you more time to get the same thickness of the floss that is ideal for embroidering.
Another thing that is lacking with a normal thread is the sheen finish that an embroidery thread has. A regular thread usually has a matte finish. It lacks the luster of the thread, which brings out the beauty of the embroidery.
The regular thread may not have the qualities common to embroidery threads. But there is nothing wrong with using it to embroider. Do not limit yourself to use only the threads designed for embroidery. It is possible that you might need the properties of a regular thread on your embroidery project. The important thing is to achieve the look that you want for your embroidery work.
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Can you embroider with thick thread?
You can use thick thread to embroider, but you must use a needle with a large eye. A needle with a large eye gives the thick thread more room to move, which lessens the friction. It also allows the thick thread to pass through more easily when threading.
When embroidering with thick thread, it is recommended to use needle sizes 100/16 or 110/18 titanium or universal needles. It can be challenging to thread a needle when you are using thick threads. A helpful technique is to tie a 40-weight thread to your thick thread. Pull the 40-weight thread to lead the thick thread through the eye of the needle. You can also use a needle threader to help you with this task.
If you use a sewing machine to embroider, you must adjust the thread tension to account for the thick thread. Thread tension must be loosened a bit because the machine is usually set for the normal weight thread. With the right needle and proper thread tension, you can embroider with thick thread, just like embroidering with regular thread.
The benefit of using thick embroidery thread is the certain look and texture it gives to your design. It can also help you fill up large spaces on your embroidery work quickly, especially when you are embroidering without using a pattern.
By using higher thread weights, you can create volume on your embroidery design. You can also save on threads and stitches, as you will need less of them to finish your embroidery work. Thick threads such as wool will make your work more creative.