Threads

When cutting sewing threads, as well as embroidery threads, cut the end on a diagonal for easier threading.

— Courtesy of Hilary

Most threads have a nap – much like velvet. If you stroke it in one direction, it will lie flat and smooth. If you stroke it in the opposite direction, it will look rough. Most manufacturers produce threads so that when you pull the thread from the spool, skein or ball, the nap will flow from the end of the thread backwards. Therefore, when you pull the thread out, use this end to thread the needle and place the knot on the end that you cut. The nap of your thread will lay flat as you pull it through the fabric. Otherwise you are pulling your thread against its nap and it will become fuzzy and rough.                                                                                               

— Courtesy of Jean & Bonnie

Variegated threads are designed so that your stitching will have a random colour pattern. Variegated threads usually have a repeat pattern of colours – just like wallpaper. Sometimes you may want to either emphasize or reduce one of the colours. Unwind the skein and lay it in a circle, matching the colour pattern. Cut it so that the undesired colour will be at the knot end, or threaded end.  The colours at the ends of your thread will be reduced and the colours in the middle increased.

 — Courtesy of Jean

Many projects require only 1 or 2 strange of 6-strand embroidery floss. Cut the length that you need (usually a maximum of 18 inches). Tap the end of the 6-strand embroidery floss a couple of times with your finger.  This spreads the strands apart. Remove only one strand at a time. Pull one strand straight up from the tip of the 6-strand piece.  

— Courtesy of Lorraine & Bonnie 

If you think that you may not have enough of a particular thread to finish your piece, you may be able to mix in a similar colour to finish a small part of it. This works particularly well in crewel but can also be used with stranded floss.

— Courtesy of Stella