Friday, January 25

Cross Stitch Threads

I've had a couple of inquiries about the threads I use in my cross stitching, so I thought I'd give a little overview of some of my favorites.  There are dozens and dozens of choices out there, and it can get a little confusing!

This is the ubiquitous brand for embroidery floss, at least around these parts.  And almost every other brand has a conversion to DMC, so they are sort of the standard.  They make several types of thread and floss, but they're cotton embroidery floss and pearl cottons are what everyone is most familiar with.  With over 400 colors, you're sure to find the color you need.

DMC pearl cotton balls
This seems to be the brand everyone in the UK uses.  Lots of folks carry it over here, and they are very popular in some areas.  Like DMC, they make several types of thread and floss, and also tapestry wool.  But once again, they're stranded cotton and perle cotton are the most popular.

GAST (Gentle Art Sampler Threads)
Now we get into the threads I usually use in my cross stitch and embroidery.  These are also stranded cotton floss, but they are hand overdyed, which creates a subtle variegation in each skein.  They are lightfast and colorfast.  The great thing about using overdyed threads is each piece is unique.  Even if you and I stitch the same chart using the same threads, the end result will be slightly different.

WDW (Weeks Dye Works)
This is the other brand that I use a lot.  Weeks has stranded cotton, perle cotton, crewel wool, and sewing thread as well as fabric!  I've never tried their fabrics, but I would love to give the linen a go!  With almost 300 colors, they have a very large range to choose from.  And who can resist the names?  Maple syrup, moonglow, deep sea, london fog....

The Caron Collection
This is a beautiful, decadent collection of threads.  They have beautiful variegated threads in cotton, silk, wool & silk blend, and several novelty threads.  But the one I use is the silk Waterlilies.  Take a look at some of the colors...they are gorgeous.  And stitching with silk is so easy, like butter.

Thread Gatherer
Lovingly hand-dyed, these threads are truly unique and beautiful.  Several fiber choices are available, from linen to silk to kid mohair, and several blends.  I have used the Silk-n-Colors, a 100% silk thread.  There are 333 colors to choose from in this thread!  Below is a small piece I did using the silk-n-colors in the colorway "Mississippi Mud."  You can see how easy it is to get an interesting look using just one color.

To me, the best idea when choosing threads is to pick the ones that make you happy!  Part of the fun of doing needlework is picking out the colors you love and that "speak" to you.  If you do that, it's bound to be beautiful.


  1. Thank you so much for this breakdown. I just started stitching and really appreciate your free patterns and this!

  2. Always good to have some sort of roadmap, isn't it!

    1. Yes, it really is and I thank you!


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