T H R E A D
I use DMC cotton embroidery thread (floss—many people call it floss but I just can’t bear it. All I can see when I hear that word is muck between teeth). Anyway, I’ll keep this brief—there are some really good brands of embroidery thread out there. Cosmo is a great brand, and there are some smaller companies that make gorgeous threads, some silk, some hand-dyed, etc. Here are the reasons that, for the most part, I stick with DMC.
1) C O L O R : DMC has an excellent selection of colors. They even came out with 35 brand new colors in 2018! Having a wide selection of color choices is very important to me, so the wide array of colors in every hue is the number one reason why I choose DMC.
2) A C C E S S I B I L I T Y : Equally as important as color is accessibility—I want to be able to get my hands on thread easily, and I want you to be able to do the same. As a busy mom of two with a full-time business, I don’t always have time to wait for thread to arrive in the mail. I need the ease of running out to the nearest Joann’s or Michaels and grab a skein of thread if I run out of a color that I’m using. Since much of my work revolves around designing DIY patterns, I use DMC to give my fellow stitchers the best chance of getting their hands on the thread they need to complete my patterns. DMC threads can be found in many countries as well as ordered online.
3) Q U A L I T Y : I do a ton of satin stitch in my work, which I feel is a great test of thread quality. thanks to the luminous look of the cotton thread, my satin stitches lay beautifully together and truly have that “satin” look. I’e worked with lower quality threads before and believe me, they are NOT the same. Additionally, if you’re using a water-soluble fabric pen, you’ll want to avoid cheap, low-quality threads because they will bleed when you rinse the hoop to remove the ink.
The long and short of it is this—avoid buying threads just because they’re cheap. Embroidery takes SO LONG, you don’t want to ruin a piece of art that you’ve invested many hours in by using low quality thread, okay? Do yourself a favor and get the good stuff.
If you’re a novice stitcher, there are a couple of important things to know. First off, when you pull the thread off of a skein of DMC thread, pull from the end with the longer label—the one that says the color number on it, if you only pull the thread out from that side, it won’t tangle. Pull from the other side and all bets are off.
Secondly, that length of thread that you pull of the skein is actually composed of six individual strands that are slightly twisted together. You can stitch with all six strands together or separate them using whatever amount gives you the thickness you desire.
Make sure all strands of thread are trimmed evenly before you try to thread your needle, it will make it so much easier. I’m a big proponent of putting the end of your thread in your mouth to wet it, then flattening it like a tiny paintbrush so that you can thread it. If you don’t like the idea of a tiny bit of saliva on your thread, you can use thread gloss to help you out. My friend Paige over at Ponderosa Creative makes amazing thread gloss and even rotates some of her scents seasonally.
I hope this little guide has been helpful!