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The Infinite Rainbow Of Embroidery Thread

Updated on June 11, 2011

Embroidery Thread Is Available In Thousands Of Colors

Embroidery thread is a type of yarn that is used specifically for embroidery and other types of needle work. Embroidery thread may be hand-spun or made by machines. Any embroiderer will testify that it's great to have a nearly endless selection of embroidery thread to choose from!

Variegated threads have a blend of multiple colors that seamlessly flow into each other. Every few stitches a completely new color reveals itself. This adds a wonderful visual detail when used on solid color appliques.

Metallic threads add reflective and sparkling qualities to your craft project or needle work.

The Major Types Of Embroidery Thread

Types of threads used for hand embroidery may include:

There are as many colors of embroidery thread as there are in the rainbow!
There are as many colors of embroidery thread as there are in the rainbow!
  • Embroidery floss or stranded cotton is a loosely twisted six strand thread that is somewhat glossy. It's typically made of cotton but is also available in rayon or silk. Cotton floss is the most common thread for cross stitch. The extreme shine of rayon floss is distinctive of Brazilian embroidery.
  • Pearl cotton, French coton perle or perle cotton is a two ply thread that has a strong sheen and is usually comes in three weights or sizes; number three, five and eight, with three being the thickest.
  • French coton a broder or matte embroidery is just what the name implies; matte-finished or lacking gloss, and is a twisted five ply thread.
  • Crewel yarn is fine, two ply yarn made from wool, or occasionally of wool like acrylic.
  • Persian yarn is a three strand yarn often used for needle point. It is loosely twisted of acrylic or wool.
  • Light weight, fine wool thread is known as medici or broder medici and used to be manufactured by the DMC group.
  • Yarn or wool used for tapestries is a tightly wound four ply yarn.

A sampler can show you exactly what that color will look like in your finished project.
A sampler can show you exactly what that color will look like in your finished project.

Fine Brand Name Embroidery Thread Is Best

Embroidery thread comes in every imaginable style, thickness, type, and of course, color. When you want to start a project to embroider, you may want to consider using embroidery software on your computer which will allow you to create stunning machine embroidery designs!

Every major name brand of embroidery thread, including that special metallic embroidery thread is available from various suppliers of both retail and wholesale embroidery thread.

You can choose from Arc embroidery thread, Sulky embroidery thread, Madeira embroidery thread, DMC embroidery thread, Isacord embroidery thread, and Mettler embroidery thread for your next embroidery project.

Samples for embroidery thread can be very helpful in choosing the right color!
Samples for embroidery thread can be very helpful in choosing the right color!

Some Embroidery Thread May Be Toxic

Threads used in embroidery machines are usually made of rayon or polyester but can sometimes be silk or cotton.

Some threads, or raw materials, used in textiles may contain compounds that are harmful to humans.

Many dyes are known to cause allergies or in some cases, cancer. There are several commercial laboratories that conduct tests on dyes and other additives to determine if they're harmful.

A Hip Embroidery Lesson!

 Disclaimer: The information on this Hub page does not constitute medical, legal, commercial, product, and/or service advice or endorsement of any vendor, supplier and/or brand, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author. Listing of an entity or service on this Hub page is not a warranty of the quality or efficacy of the products or services furnished by any entity. The author is not directly compensated by any entity other than the advertising placement services shown on this page.


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    • profile image

      CoillaPal 4 years ago

      I utilized to obtain high on existence although recently I've developed a level of resistance.

    • profile image

      neemoSync 5 years ago

      Boys are going to be the tools.

      Characteristics abhors your bathwater.

    • profile image

      Jerry Wang 5 years ago

      Embroidery Thread Manufacturer:


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      shyamalee 6 years ago


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      Terri 6 years ago

      Thanks for this. You raise a very good point about the toxicity of embroidery thread. Today someone told me that their friend, a non-smoker and an avid embroider, developed throat cancer, and her doctor suspects it is from licking the floss everytime she threaded her needle. Certainly something to think about.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love your descriptions of embroidery thread types. There is nothing like staring a new project with a mound of embroidery floss in its colorful splender sitting there before you just waiting to be used. Love the hub.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Thanks! I lived for years with a needle fanatic so I was usually up to my knees in embroidery thread... and knitting supplies, and quilt squares, and... :)

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 8 years ago from Northwestern Montana

      I love, love, love embroidery thread!! My grandmother used to have every color under the sun and I was always happy looking at the little bundles of color!! Brings back many joyful memories!!! I still pause, whenever I stroll by a isle of it in the store... something strangely nostalgic about it!! Great hub!