Threads Tips

Read these 13 Threads Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cross Stitching tips and hundreds of other topics.

Threads Tips has been rated 3.2 out of 5 based on 637 ratings and 1 user reviews.
How can I distinguish between floss colors to sort them?

Sorting Floss

Sort floss for a new project in natural light. Sunlight is best, but natural light lamps may also be helpful.

   
How do I separate floss from a skein?

Separating Floss

When separating two threads from a skein, remove them one at a time then put them back together again. This will help keep the strands from twisting and knotting while stitching.

   
How do I finish off a short bit of thread?

Finishing Off a Short Thread

To finish off a short end of floss, thread it under backwards. Instead of using the point, push the eye end of the needle under other stitches. A pair of tweezers or a rubber thimble may help in pulling the needle through.

   
How do I work with blending filament?

Don't Stretch It!

Some types of blending filaments have the tendency to stretch when stitching. Don't pull them too tightly, and be careful of those pesky knots in your strand.

   
How do I work with metallic thread?

Use Shorter Strands

Metallic thread is often used as an accent rather than as a main color, so strands can be cut shorter. Metallics can fray if pulled through too much fabric.

   
What length should I cut my floss?

Floss Length

Every stitcher will have their preferred length of floss to use, but in general 16-20" is a good length. Keeping lengths short will prevent them from knotting.

   
I can´t find a particular color of floss - what do I do?

Substitute (Carefully!) if Necessary

If you can't obtain the particular color a pattern calls for, consider a substitution. In some cases, the next closest shade might work. Be careful - this won't work well for patterns that use several similar shades from a particular color.

   
How do I know how many strands of floss to use?

How many strands?

If you're unsure how many strands to use in a particular fabric, try a few stitches and see how it looks. Following the suggestions in the pattern or kit is usually a good idea, but you may wish to alter it for a different effect.

   
Should I prewash my floss?

Prewashing

For projects that will be washed frequently (such as baby bibs, pillows, tablecloths), prewashing floss is a good idea. Hand wash each color separately in a small bowl with a gentle detergent and lay flat to dry.

   
What is ´tweeding´?

Tweeding

Tweeding is when you use one thread of two different colors in the same stitch. It is used to create various effects in stitching.

   
How do I work with blending filament?

Don't Use It Alone

Blending filament is designed to be used in conjunction with another strand of thread. This tweeding effect gives a shimmer to all the stitches.

   
How do I work with metallic thread?

How Much to Use?

If you want to experiment with the look that metallic thread gives, try using either more or fewer strands.

   
Should I buy floss even if I don´t need it for a current project?

Stock Up on Floss

Take advantage of the sale on floss at your local craft store. Stock up on common colors such as white and black, and pick up any others that may work with your future projects.

   
Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Cross Stitching Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!


Guru Spotlight
George Sayour