This edition of How To… is inspired by a question from my recent hand embroidered purse workshops at Leeds City Museum. I was asked this question by somebody who is new to embroidery so I thought I’d share my response with everyone.
“How many strands of embroidery thread should I use?”
There’s actually no right or wrong answer to this question, it just depends on the look you want to achieve with your stitching. I’ll be showing you back stitch in the different thicknesses of thread so you can compare.
Remember, different stitches also give a different thickness to the line you’re sewing. Stem stitch created with three strands of thread will be thicker than a back stitch sewn with three strands of thread.
Separating your threads can be tricky, especially with metallics. I separate mine from the centre of my length of thread. The length of thread should be around 35cm.
In this example I’ve chosen to separate into three strands which is my preference. Tease apart the threads so you have three in each hand and gently pull them apart. I like to wrap them into a little loop ready to stitch.
You’re ready to start stitching with your embroidery thread, here are the different thicknesses of embroidery thread and how they looked when worked in back stitch from one strand to six