1. Home

Now That's a Good Question!

By June 21, 2011

I received an email today asking about using embroidery floss in a needlepoint project, and it's a good one!

Some stitchers will not use embroidery floss, believing that it frays easily when working needlepoint.

This belief is unfounded and many top designers use embroidery floss in their kits. Check out the needlepoint kits from 123-Stitch!, ineedlework.com and The Stitchery.

The reality is, any thread can be used for needlepoint (the exception is a wired thread such as Kreinik's Hotwire or DMC's Memory Thread).

Any thread, including floss, will fray when using:

lengths that are too long for the thread type
a thread type that is too thick for the canvas
a thread of low quality
cheap canvas with burrs and sloppy finishing

Tapestry wool, pearl cotton, ribbon, silk thread, rayon or satin threads, straw, hemp, bamboo, jute, plastic, velvet, crewel wool, metallics, halographic and specialty threads - like the threads shown here - will fray if not used properly.

Since wear and fraying can vary between fiber contents, it is best to keep an eye out for the dreaded fuzzies as you stitch.

Floss is best used on tighter mesh count (such as 28 count), and, when using floss, it helps to separate the 6 strands and regroup them.

The number of strands used will be determined by the size of the canvas or the stitch being used, so there's no cut-and-dry formula for this.

You may need to use shorter lengths of thread and change the thread more often, or change threads altogether if you continue to run into problems, and this applies to any thread used for needlepoint.

Don't be afraid to use embroidery floss, pearl cotton, metallics - or any embroidery thread - when working a needlepoint canvas.

Any thread can be used successfully, and variety is the spice of life!


June 22, 2011 at 11:27 am
(1) Carmen says:

I use floss all the time and never had a problem with it. The number of strands I use depends a lot on the stitch and if I want it to expose canvas or completely cover it. Floss is great in needlepoint!

June 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm
(2) SusyB says:

I have used DMC floss when working needlepoint a few times. I think the floss feels smoother to work with and and the finished item has a shine almost like silk. The color choices are better than most yarns too.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.