Needlework Threads

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Learn About The Different Types Of Needlework Thread And When To Use Them

Needlework thread can be made from a variety of materials, which could have an influence on your embroidery project. If you are not yet familiar with the different types of needlework thread and their properties, be sure to read our information below.

What Is Stranded Embroidery Cotton And When Do I Use It For Embroidery?

This is the most common type of thread used for embroidery. Commonly known under the name embroidery floss, this is an incredibly popular option for cross-stitch and similar embroidery projects.

Stranded embroidery cotton is characterised by six strands. Depending on the delicateness of the work, you can separate the strands and use a single strand for the more detailed work. Opposed to the name, this type of embroidery thread comes in materials different than cotton. Aside from cotton, you can also encounter this embroidery thread in rayon and silk.

What Is Pearl Cotton And When Do I Use It For Embroidery?

Pearl cotton thread is a little heavier than the basic embroidery floss. However, you can obtain this type of thread in a variety of weights to meet your project needs. Opposed to the previously mentioned thread, pearl cotton thread only contains a single strand, this means it cannot be separated.

Despite the differences with embroidery floss, there are a lot of embroidery projects you can tackle with pearl cotton, this includes cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery. Pearl cotton is also commonly used for the creation of decorative tassels.

What Is Rayon Floss And When Do I Use It For Embroidery?

Rayon floss is popular for bolder embroidery projects, this due to the bright colours you can obtain this thread in. In addition to its bolder colour, you can also recognise rayon floss by its natural shine and smoothness.

While the natural shine and smoothness is beneficial for the more advanced embroiderers, we must mention that this thread is a little more difficult to work with for beginners. The thread can be incredibly slippery, but it is also prone to tangling. To avoid this particular problem, you can always use a little bit of water on the thread. Simply apply a little bit of water with a sponge to avoid the tangling and the slipperiness the thread is associated with.

What Is Metallic Embroidery Thread And When Do I Use It For Embroidery?

Metallic embroidery thread is rarely used for entire projects, this due to its shiny and bold look. Instead, embroiderers will use this kind of thread for detailing on their project.

Since metallic embroidery thread tangles and gets damaged easily, embroiderers should be especially careful when dealing with this kind of thread. The thread does not deal well with moisture either, so you usually cannot wash an embroidery project that contains some of this metallic thread.

What Is Crewel Yarn And When Do I Use It For Embroidery?

Crewel yarn is a natural thread made from wool. It is a popular option for projects such as embroidery, but it also has some applications in tapestry.

Compared to the standard embroidery floss, a single strand of Crewel yarn has the thickness of two strands of embroidery floss. Therefore, you can use this thread for general embroidery as well as some detailed work.

What Is Tapestry Yarn And When Do I Use It For Embroidery?

One of the main characteristics of tapestry yarn is its supreme softness, so it is not unusual to use this thread for embroidery on pillows or other projects where such softness could be beneficial. In addition to pillow embroidery, you can also use this yarn for cross-stitch.

Tapestry yarn is available in different materials, which can influence the feel and the texture of the thread. One type of tapestry yarn is felted wool, which is characterised by a fuzzy look. Because of its fuzziness, this type of yarn is usually limited to couching.

What Is Silk Thread And When Do I Use It For Embroidery?

Silk thread is known for its beautiful shine and its bold colours. Since these threads are rather delicate, they are usually used for detail work. However, we must warn that silk thread does not have great colour fastness. Therefore, quality is paramount when using a thread like this.



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