When you consider the number of hours that will be spent on a needlework project, then you will see the importance of using good quality embroidery thread. Embroidery floss is used for a large variety of needlework projects - cross-stitch, counted thread, embroidery, needlepoint, smocking, crewel, punch embroidery, appliqué and quilting. Embroidery floss is a thread that is manufactured or hand-spun specifically for embroidery and other forms of needlework. It is a loosely twisted, slightly glossy 6-strand thread, usually of cotton but also manufactured in silk, polyester, rayon, and linen.
Cotton floss is the standard thread for cross-stitch. It is made from mercerized cotton, to make the floss stronger, smoother, and give it a lustrous appearance. Cotton floss (like most embroidery floss) is divisible, meaning the strands can be used individually or in groups of strands, depending on the thickness needed for a project.
Variegated floss has a blend of soft multicolors that flow seamlessly into one another. The subtle color changes reveal themselves every few stitches. This is just a dye technique, so you could have variegated cotton, silk, or linen floss.
Light Effects is a reflective polyester floss which comes in shades including Precious Metals, Jewels, Antiques, Pearlescent, Fluorescents, and Glow-In-The-Dark tones.
Metallic Floss adds metallic qualities to any needlework or craft project. This floss is usually 100% polyester or a poly blend.
Rayon Floss is highly lustrous and soft. It is particularly striking when used as an accent thread to other threads in all types of creative stitchery.
Silk Floss is very versatile. Made from 100% silk, it adds a special elegance to any heirloom embroidery and shadow embroidery project. Noted for saturated colors and a lusterous shine, silk floss is wonderful in crewel tapestry, smocking, and cross-stitching.
Pearl cotton is a 2-ply twisted thread with high sheen. Unlike other embroidery threads it is non-divisible (the strands cannot be separated). Pearl Cotton can found five 3, 5, 8, 12 and 16, with 3 being the heaviest and 16 the finest).
Billie G. Henson