13 Different Types of Embroidery Thread Explained

Embroidery is a beautiful technique that is done to decorate fabric or other types of materials with the help of a needle. You will be able to create various designs according to your wish, and with proper tools and techniques, you can successfully get the job done without any hassle.

Most of the embroidery either uses wool or thread that is stitched on a woven fabric. In this article, we are going to talk about the different types of embroidery thread.

For your benefit, each of them will be explained individually, and with this information, you will know which embroidery thread will be suitable for your project in different situations. Read on to find out more.

Different Types of Embroidery Thread

Below, you will find all the embroidery thread types in an elaborated manner. Go through all of them and take notes whenever you find something important.

1. Stranded Embroidery Cotton

Stranded Embroidery Cotton

When you will do an embroidery task, stranded embroidery cotton can be your best friend. Moreover, it is considered as one of the popular choices among other threads.

It also goes with the name ‘embroidery floss’ and is getting famous on a daily basis throughout the world. This one consists of 6 strands of thread that are distributed all over the skein.

According to your project, you can thread the needle with a total of 6 strands or split the thread to bring out a different effect. If you are interested in getting beautiful lines, you can use a single strand on the needle.

To clear out even more, you can look at this example. In the kind of work that includes needle painting, you should use only one strand. In the case of cross stitch, go with two strands, and use six strands for needlepoint.

You will find this type of thread in multiple fibers like rayon, cotton, and silk.

2. Sashiko Thread

Sashiko Thread

Sashiko is a Japanese embroidery technique, and it uses a special thread for stitching. One strand of this thread is equal to 4 embroidery threads’ thickness.

You can use it to fix clothing problems because it is tough and durable. Plus, it works very well that you won’t be disappointed with the outcome. To use this thread, you will need a Sashiko needle, and if you don’t have one, don’t worry; just use a long needle that is thin, and it must have a giant-sized eye.

3. Metallic Hand Embroidery Thread

Metallic Hand Embroidery Thread

This type is normally used to provide highlights to different embroidery methods. It tarnishes or discolors easily and tangles a lot.

The good thing is its beauty and the change it brings to your work. Be careful whenever you plan to wash it because the overall process will be difficult and time-consuming.

Fortunately, the synthetic version won’t tarnish, and you can effortlessly use it without thinking twice.

4. Pearl Cotton Thread

Pearl Cotton

This cotton is a bit heavy, and you will find it in different weights. If you visit the market, you will notice that it has only one strand, and within each strand (single), you will observe that there are two fibers that are twisted together. Avoid separating it in all conditions.

If your chosen one comes with a number situated on your embroidery thread, this means that there is a meaning behind this. Suppose the number is higher, then you have to estimate that the thread is lighter.

Since this thread gives out a beautiful and smooth effect, you can easily use it on cross stitch, Hardanger embroidery, Redwork, and many more. If you are planning to make tassels, this one will be the best choice.

5. Tapestry Yarn

Tapestry Yarn

This yarn is soft as well as thick and goes very well with canvas and other kinds of materials that are heavy. It is also used for crewelwork and needlepoint tasks.

There is another one that is known as Persian Yarn. You can use it like tapestry yarn, and it is also compatible with thick materials.

6. Ribbon Thread

ribbon thread

Yes, you got it right. It is not a thread, but it can be used for embroidery like the way you use it in the case of embroidery floss.

You should thread it through the needle and use it to stitch various floral designs that can catch anyone’s attention within an instant. Luckily, it comes in various types, and you won’t have to think much while purchasing it.

7. Crewel Yarn (or Wool)

Crewel Yarn

Crewel yarn is a very good and natural material that is loved by lots of people. This one is used in needlepoint, tapestry, wool embroidery, and cross-stitch works.

To get the best results, you should thread the wool thread on the needle and use it as a regular embroidery thread. This feature allows you to include texture, which can add a huge benefit to your project.

A single strand of this yarn is similar to the thickness of two strands of embroidery floss.

8. Silk Threads

Silk Threads

You will find silk threads in different colors. It is used in the kind of work that includes fine embroidery. One problem is that it fades, and sometimes it bleeds.

This thread is used to couch or fix threads (metallic cords or threads) that are thick on the surfaces of a fabric.

9. Rayon Floss

Rayon Floss

This one is renowned and popular because of its bright, vibrant colors and top-notch silk. Unfortunately, you will face some challenges when you are going to work with it.

The main problem is that it tangles and knots quite easily. To avoid the problem, you should use small-sized lengths. Another approach is to moisten the thread with the help of a sponge (wet) to overcome the obstacle.

10. Cord and Beading Thread

Beading Thread

Cord thread is used for leather sewing, wrapping, knotting, making jewelry, stringing, beading, lacing, and couching embroidery.

This type of embroidery thread looks attractive, and you will need rigid and long-lasting threads all the time. For beading embroidery stitches, you can use nylon thread.

Keep in mind that the beading nylon threads are thick and also durable, and you can use it with fine beads without any hesitation. You will find this in various colors.

Besides, there are polyester stretch cords and waxed cotton cord thread. These are also thick, and you can easily use it for beading macramé and stitches.

As you can see, this type is versatile and allows you to work on different projects that successfully bring out your creativity.

11. Knitting Yarn

Knitting Yarn

You can use this yarn for embroidery. This one comes with various thicknesses, known as yarn weight.

12. Crochet Thread

Crochet Thread

With the help of this thread, you can crochet with any material of your choice. If you choose embroidery floss, you are most welcome to proceed.

For crochet, a different type of yarn is present, which is special. It comes with a pretty sheen, and you can use it to make doilies and other projects that require crochet.

13. Variegated Threads

Variegated Threads

This one is unique, and when you get to see it, you will definitely be surprised. It has multiple shades within the same color and also in the same skein. Within the same thread, the color changes if you go down the length.

If you can use it correctly, this fantastic thread can give your project a creative outlook that you might be looking for in the first place. You should go with this one if you are going to tackle bigger projects in the future.

Tips on Using Embroidery Thread

Embroidery tips and tricks

Here are some of the helpful tips that you should go through.

  • Tip 1: Split the Floss into Multiple Strands Before Using It

Before you use the embroidery floss, split the floss into multiple strands. After that, bring the strands together and, finally, thread the needle.

  • Tip 2: Avoid Keeping the Thread Length Big

Try to keep the thread length small. It would be best if you did this because the fibers get weak when the thread enters and exits the fabric constantly. Also, the small length prevents tangle every time.

  • Tip 3: Choose Reputed Brands

To get the high-quality threads for your project, you should look for the one that has a good brand image. This ensures that your investment won’t go to waste, and you will get satisfactory results at the end of your task.

  • Tip 4: Increase Your Budget

The cheaper ones won’t give you desirable results. To efficiently use the embroidery thread, increase your budget so that it is safe to use for the long run.

  • Tip 5: Use the Cheaper Thread Strategically

Suppose you have accidentally bought the cheaper ones and there is no chance for a refund, don’t get sad. You can use it for the type of work that won’t require washing.

  • Tip 6: Work in a Noiseless Room

Since this work requires focus and precision, you should work in a room where you won’t be distracted by anyone. If you have kids, put them in a different room for some period of time.

  • Tip 7: Give Full Focus

Maintain proper eye contact on the thread from start to end, or else you will have to restart everything. Take this information seriously because your time and effort are also on the line.


These are all about the embroidery thread and its types. Read this article a couple of times so that you get a good grasp of it.

If you still need extra details, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional.

Share this article with your loved ones. Enjoy your day. Take care.

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