Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidery Stash Give-Away for March!


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Hand embroidery is one hobby that tends towards stash build-up. To help reduce my stash, each month I’ve been giving away little packets of fun embroidery supplies that you might find handy. Mostly, it’s mix-and-match. This month, since Spring is starting to make an appearance, I thought I’d go with a spring-ish theme of threads, beads, and a little bit of fabric.

To be eligible to receive this little collection of embroidery goods, just leave a comment on this post. Generally, I ask a question, hoping for some input that readers will find useful. This month, you can answer the question, or you can just leave a comment, whichever is easier!

The question: what’s your favorite thread for hand embroidery (or any needlework technique) and why?

If you can’t muster up an answer, no worries! Just leave a comment! On Thursday, March 13th, I’ll draw a name from the list. Please make sure you leave your name with your comment!

Here’s this month’s ebmroidery stash give-away:

Embroidery stash give-away for March, 2008

There’s a piece of Belfast Linen, 32 ct, in lilac. It’s a little over 12″ x 12″ – give or take on one side (it isn’t square… it’s rectangular).

Embroidery stash give-away for March, 2008

Beads are always fun to have! This package is a mix-up of bugle beads and seed beads, all glass, in springy colors: pink, greens, golds, light blue.

Embroidery stash give-away for March, 2008

A card of Encore! by Rainbow Gallery. This is a variegated stranded cotton in pastel colors. I’ve never actually used this thread, so I’m not sure how it stitches. But it’s pretty…

Embroidery stash give-away for March, 2008

Aaahhhh. No stash is complete without silk. Here’s a skein of a beautiful pink Needlepoint Inc. silk, and a skein of Eterna stranded (nearly flat) in a pretty light blue. I like both threads – the Eterna can be tricky to stitch with if you haven’t used a flat silk before, but it’s worth the effort of trying.

Embroidery stash give-away for March, 2008

And here are some Appleton wools in brighter spring colors. I didn’t have a paler yellow…! Appleton is great for crewel work or long and short stitch shading techniques. If you like working with wool, it’s a good wool to work with.

So that’s it. They’re all bagged up and ready to go to the lucky winner! And just in time, perhaps, for a little Easter sampler or something.

I’m happy for overseas participants to participate as well – I’ll mail anywhere, via the least expensive air-mail option.

Please, comment away!


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(39) Comments

  1. My fave thread is a silk perle by Kreinik called Silk Serica. It is substantial but smooth, gives a nice line, is not shiney but just glows. It is so satisfying to stitch with….

  2. I like to work with regular DMC floss for two reasons –
    I enjoy needle painting and the wide variety of colors makes my project look realistic.
    Secondly, it’s inexpensive and readily available in stores.

  3. Hmm favorite thread? Well as I’m a CQer I use a lot of threads but I use a ton of good old DMC floss, but I do love using silk floss too OH just remembered I love the YLI silk floss because it’s really fine and not a haggle to use.

  4. Oh, goodness, I’m going to be found out…I don’t have experience with more than DMC (and other brands) of cotton floss and perle cotton. But I felt some linen floss the other day at Michaels and was so tempted to try it. Does anyone like the linen thread? Embroidery became a beautiful hobby to me when I switched from Aida cloth to linen cloth. I wonder if silk or linen threads would bring yet another level of beauty?

  5. I have mostly DMC floss and perele cotton. I have been researching other threads as I would like to try other types.

  6. DMC cotton floss– that’s mailny because I just started back up with the hobby. Oh, I tried a skein of DMC rayon but wasn’t too happy with it. I am contemplating on trying silks as soon!

  7. I don’t think I can claim a favourite thread as I don’t feel I have had the chance to try enough different ones. Also, I have been kit-bound so the threads usually come with the kit.

    I can say that I enjoyed working with DMC Medici wool on a crewel piece. I am sad that it has been discontinued. I’ve tried Appletons and it’s OK and they have a nice range of colours, but I found it to be a bit rough. I am very much looking forward to trying Renaissance Dyeing Wool (I have a sampler pack). The colours are gorgeous, if limited, and the wool is very soft.

    I like silk floss (Au Ver a Soie, Soie d’Alger) and am looking forward to trying the Piper’s silks that Helen Stevens uses (I have a kit for one of her designs from ‘Inspirations’ that’s on my to-do list).

    I really like Anchor floss, but I don’t know why. I like DMC, too, but there’s just something about Anchor that I like a little better.

    Something I like to do to challenge myself is to see how good a job I can do with soft shading with the horrible crewel yarn that comes in commercial kits! 🙂

    My favourite threads at the moment are goldwork metal threads. Also, I really, really like the Au Ver a Soie silk thread that I’ve been using for couching. It feels so nice as it runs through my fingers.

  8. Does it make me a bad stitcher if all I’ve ever used is plain DMC floss? *L* Not the metallics though, those are horrible to work with!

  9. My comment is that I hate daylight savings time! I get all fouled up when we have to spring ahead like this…..
    On the bright side my coffee is sure tasting good today….but I still don’t know if I’m coming or going!

  10. I use DMC floss as it is redily available and not costly! If money was no object I would use much of the overdyed floss in cotton. I find cotton an easy to work with thread and sturdy to stand up to whatever rigors it might be put through. Rayon seems to get so tangled easily. though I do like the way it shines. Silk seems to be too thin for my tastes. I cant remember the name of it but there is a wonderful cotton based floss dyed with vegetable dyes that I was really in love with. Wish now I had saved the info!!

  11. What a nice idea! I just use the 6 string embroidery floss and DMC is my favorite brand. I bought a bag of cheap floss and noticed a huge difference.

    I would LOVE to try silk and wool!!

    I’m with Karin on the DST too! Let’s end it already!!!

  12. We-e-ell, I just now got a few things and a book to learn, so I don’t know what from what. I thought I’d try to do a pink poodle. Drawn thread work looks fun too.

  13. Hi Mary – I like appletons for crewel, and an austalian thread called colour streams – hand dyed varigated silk perle and stranded silk – beautiful colours (they also do emb. ribbon in same colours)

  14. My favourite is usually cotton because that is easiest and cheapest – I like Finca and Anchor in 12 – I like the flexibility and cost of the thread. I also tend to use DMC floss because of its availability and large range – there aren’t that many needlework shops nearby and virtually none in the city. The city has a Lincraft store which carries only DMC adn cheaper cotton floss (also tapestry yarns – but wool is a tad heavy for the work I have been doing. I am a relatively new embroiderer and feel I need to gain some expertise before I try some of the more exotic yarns. At the moment I am using Guttermans sewing machine thread for pulled thread work and found its range of colours is good too.

  15. Since Iam doing Brazilian Embroidery,my fav at present is Rayon threads from Edmar. Nothing to match their shine.But they do get tangled and frayed. The next is ofcourse Anchor floss- they are so dependable .

  16. I love whichever thread I am using at the time. The gorgeous array of colours in cotton stranded, the lustrousness and sublety of Caron waterlilies, the heft and seriousness of Aubusson wool. Old metallics with patina are a wonder and a challenge. I love them all. Right now I am carrying on a love affair with 1900-1920 silk. Oh my God, the sheen of them! The brightness blinds me when I open the fragile paper packs. Strong still after a hundred years.

  17. I use unbranded silk thread from a local supplier called The Handweaver’s Studio in Walthamstow, London. It’s run by a nice eccentric American lady and they have lots of colors, and sell the thread on big rolls called cheeses for a couple of quid for a roll that you can’t imagine ever using up.

    Every time I go in there I buy a few more colors.

    But I’ve just discovered a supplier of Goldwork threads who manufactures them in the UK using traditional methods, called Benton and Johnson, and I fear I might be on the cusp of a gold habit as well……

  18. Being I am a beginner, I have only tried DMC floss. But I would love to try something new ! Especially if it improves the finished look !

  19. I just love the feel of the Floche that I received from Wendy Schoen Designs. I use it for smocking and it gives me the ahhhhhhh! and mmmmmm! feeling as I stitch.

  20. Normally I use Anchor, but my favourites are Metallics and Kreinik blending filaments. I love their shiny appearance.
    I modify every piece of pattern I stitch, and put a little bit of my shiny treasures into them. 🙂

    KerGiz, Hungary

  21. Me, Me, Mary. Pick me.
    Sis and I are starting a couple of recycled wool projects in Crazy Quilting. I love the feel of fulled wool. I find that some of the wool yarns seem a little harsher than others. A friend gave us some Elsa Williams Needlepoint yarn and it’s so soft to the touch. I’ve not used it yet, but think that I’m going to love it.

    For special embroidery on seams and motifs, I like the Rajmahal 1000. It’s a little thicker than the Art Silks and I find that it doesn’t kink as much as some others. Otherwize, depending on the project I like Perle cottons in different sizes.

    Thank you! This is so nice.
    Crazy Judyth
    aka Judyth in Kansas
    Am I supposed to send my address and all? Now? Well, here it is.
    I also enjoy reading your blog and am so happy that you made it easier to get to.

  22. Hi, Judyth –

    I republished your comment without the contact information on it…

    I’ll draw names, and then I’ll post who the winner is, and then you can e-mail me your contact information. That keeps things a bit more secure!

    Avoids spam, etc.!


  23. This is awfully hard to decide. I do lots of different kinds of needlework and so have lots of preferences. Actually, I wish I had a whole shop full of different favorite threads.

    But if I had to choose one thead, it would be Caron Waterlillies. It is lovely silk and the color combinations are enough to base a whole new project on. I also like the similar Gloriana variegated silk for the same reason, but it is not easy to find. You really need to see the thread in person; online just isn’t the same.


  24. I don’t really have a favorite thread I work with. I normally just use whatever is on hand or stricks my fancy when I’m out shopping. I look for threads that have a good feel in my hand, that don’t catch on my fingers, and fit the bill for whatever it is that I’m making. Some threads work better than others, some don’t work at all once I start stitching. That’s okay though, it’s part of the process for me. It’s all good.

  25. Hola . esta pregunta es un poco si pero no..
    Explicome. creo que la selccion del hilo esta deacuerdo a muchjas varieantes, es decir en base al tipo de bordado, tela donde vas a bordar, que va a suceder con el trabajo es decir para que sera, que tipo de puntada usaras.. en fin son mucjas variables.
    Yo amo bordar dmc floss para punto de cruz en un jobelan .
    Lo demas es decauerdo a los trabajos ha realizar.

  26. My all time favorite threads are silks. Nothing catches the light the way silks do. But I try to match the threads to the project.

    Right now I am trying to get a head start on some holiday presents and am working on a set of dish towels for a friend. So, I am using DMC floss since it will hold up going through the washer and dryer.

    I am also getting to start teaching my niece to do embroidery since she has finally expressed an interest in it. We will start with cotton floss since it is the least expensive and perfect to teach with. Hopefully she will enjoy embroidery and move on and be willing to try toher threads.

  27. I use DMC cotton and some linen floss.I embroider more on clothing or things that will need to be washed more often. I enjoy bead work and saw your stash give away and thought I’d try a chance at it.
    I just bought my first DMC metallics. I like the glittery look to them. I use a 14″ length because it does fray easily. I use it for card embroidery. Thanks. Maria P

  28. Ive been using DMC but i must admit DMC’s got nothing on silk threads not only are they soft less likely to snag and have a bueatiful sheen they also have twelve-fourteen plys in one strand instead of six ……although i have a feeling this isnt my lucky entry …alas im not known as a winner 😉 keep on truckin’ Mary!—————–Macabrechaos

  29. Hi Mary, Threads in general bring tears to my eyes because of their beauty. I’m sure most embroiderers feel this way. My most recent project of delight is blackwork done in DMC linen floss over Aida. Such a natural blend.Keep up your good works Mary.

  30. I keep coming back to DMC – it is affordable, it can be found about everywhere, it doesn’t bleed or run, it has a huge variety of colors, and I have never been disappointed in the results.

  31. Hi Mary welll I have not been hand stitching for a long time but I have tried a few different ones and the flavor as of right now would have to be the edmar thread. A friend sent me some to try and after I got the hang of it, wow it is just as smooth as butter to work with. Thanks for asking.

  32. This is all new to me. I have only ever used DMC. I like DMC and would like to try silk and other threads to see what they are like. All the input is great help. Thanks Mary, for your site, it’s great!

    Janice K.

  33. I’ve only just gotten the embroidery bug. So far my fave has been crewel work with Appleton. I know what you mean about aquiring a stash I only started a month or so ago and have already taken over a sbustantial amount of closet space.


  34. I have just gotten back into embroidery by hand and only have access to Wally World so am using DMC until I feel comfortable ordering from online sources. Thanks for your site!! It is wonderful.

  35. You know my DMC story- LOL!I love to try new things and am glad that you are raising our awareness of other threads and different types of needlework.
    Could you write a letter to my DH about why I need MORE threads…. 🙂

  36. DMC Cotton – you know what you are getting in terms of quality, the price hardly changes and the thread colours have a great range.

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