"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. "
- Walt Emerson
Embroidery is a lovely art form, isn’t it? Don’t we all love wearing embroidered attires to flaunt in weddings and parties? We sure do! But it is only the artisan who knows how much hard work it is to make it look so wonderful. Being so, it would not be a surprise if the artisans get out of their minds if a thread gets loose and goes on to spoil the whole design. It would be so much pain to see that happen. The main reason of why this could happen even in case of a skilled artisan is the use of wrong embroidery floss.
The knowledge of embroidery floss is important so as to know which floss to use for what kind of design. It also plays a significant role in the life of the design. Let’s have a look at it:
Cotton Embroidery Floss
It is also called as DMC embroidery floss. This floss is made up of pure cotton and has six strands. The artisan can either use it together or can use it separately as per the thickness requirement of the design. Most artisans prefer using this cotton embroidery floss for it is very comfortable to use it and well suited for fine artwork as well as strong designs.
This type of thread is also called as anchor pearl cotton thread. As compared to the DMC embroidery floss, pearl cotton embroidery thread is heavier. This thread comes in single strand (single strand is made up of two thin strands that should not be separated). The good news is that the weight of the thread can be chosen as per the requirement of your embroidery design.
Most artisans are in love with the rayon embroidery floss. Can you guess the reason? The bright and beautiful colours of the floss and the silk material are so very attractive that you just cannot take your eye off. You will be amazed to go through the rayon floss colour chart; it’s just so vast! But like beautiful things (and people, LOL!!!) are difficult to handle, so is the rayon embroidery floss. This shiny embroidery floss is a difficult thread to work with for it tangles very easily. It is usually used for shorter length embroidery designs.
Metallic Embroidery Thread
This embroidery thread is not used for the base designs. It is majorly used for the highlights of any embroidery design. Gold embroidery thread is one of the most famous one’s that is widely used. The beauty that this floss adds to the embroidery work is indeed outstanding. But, again, difficult to manage and handle. Even after the work is done, washing of the base fabric (or the cloth) becomes difficult.
Wool embroidery floss
This floss comes in two forms. Natural or acrylic (two-ply strand). It is very soft and comfy to handle. It is used majorly for wool embroidery and cross-stitch. Because it is wool, one single strand of wool embroidery thread is as strong and thick as a few ordinary embroidery threads together. Wool embroidery threads are usually used when a texture needs to be made on the fabric. The floss is extremely user friendly.
Pure Silk Embroidery Threads
Silk threads for hand embroidery can be bought in amazing-attractive colours. The range of colours available in silk embroidery threads is too vast and each colour you look at is worth buying! The only problem with using silk threads for hand embroidery is that the work may bleed after a while and even fade after frequent washing. It must not be used for heavy embroidery designs since the risk associated with it is more. However, it can be used for tiny and delicate designs.
Variegated Hand Embroidery Threads
The variegated quilting thread consists of multiple threads of similar colours. There can be three to eight colours in the same floss bundle. It is usually used for it serves the purpose of multi-colour design without really much effort of changing the floss again and again. The variegated embroidery threads are available in almost all thread materials like cotton, silk, rayon and wool.
This thread and the design form that it creates- Sashiko– is Japanese. Sashiko thread is known to be one of the strongest embroidery flosses. It is twisted and hence can be used for artwork that needs a strong and durable embroidery design.
Depending upon the design and the artisans’ taste of designs, the choice of embroidery floss needs to be done. However, the problem arises when the floss tangles or bleeds. To avoid this mess, it is recommended to keep the thread lengths short so that it’s easy to manage. Also, use the threads considering the base fabric and the overall durability of the design.