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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Floche and Fabric


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Two things I love: floche and fabric. Specifically, cotton floche and linen fabric.

I’ve been dabbling with some little designs embroidered with floche – nothing large or extravagant or hugely time consuming – and using the opportunity, while dabbling, to try some fabrics I haven’t used before.

Embroidery with cotton floche on linen fabric

I’m a sucker, it’s true, for good embroidery linen, so it’s not like it’s a painful thing for me to play around, trying out different little pieces of linen. I could do this until the cows come home and then leave again. I’d be perfectly content.

I’ve written about cotton floche before. Many, many times, actually – so I’ve included some links below, if you want to explore the thread further.

If you’re not familiar with cotton floche and you like general surface embroidery, you should consider trying it out. Especially if you like satin stitching, traditional monogramming, soft shading, and the like, you and floche could end up being BFFs.

My niece informs me that BFF means Best Friends Forever. I’m glad she told me. I would have puzzled over it F (as in, Forever). I tried to convince her that words are much more powerful tools than individual letters, but she wasn’t buying it. SUOD. (See how ridiculous? OCYD!)

Anyway, floche. If you haven’t tried it, consider it. Links below!

Embroidery with cotton floche on linen fabric

The linen, though. Let’s talk about that. This particular linen is a Legacy Linen from Access Commodities. It’s an embroidery linen – for surface embroidery, not counted work (though it would work well for drawn thread work).

It’s called Pussywillow Gray, and it’s 71″ wide, so when you buy a fat quarter of it, you’re getting quite a good chunk of very good linen for the price.

And it’s…. ahhhh. It’s a nice linen!

It’s not actually gray-gray. It’s a soft natural color, with maybe just a hint of gray-ishness that separates it from the more golden naturals.

It’s got a full weave that supports surface embroidery stitches well. While it isn’t an even weave, the warp and weft threads in the weave are fairly evenly distributed and plump. They fill the weave. There are no big gaps between threads, due to occasionally excessively thin threads or anything like that. The fabric has a great hand – that is, the feel of the surface when you run your hand over it is quite nice. It’s not scratchy or slubby or anything like that.

Pussywillow Gray would make a great ground fabric for white embroidery. (I love white-on-natural!) And I could also see it used very effectively as a ground fabric for crewel embroidery.

So, if you’re looking for a really nice natural ground fabric for surface embroidery, I thought I’d let you know about this one. It’s a keeper.

My next floche experiment will be on this fabric, in whites. I can’t wait to play! I’ll share more little snippets with you as they develop.

Information on Floche

If you’re looking for further reading on floche, you might enjoy these articles:

Coton a Broder vs. Floche

Cotton Floche vs. Coton a Broder – Up Close

Cotton Floche vs. Danish Flower Thread

Thread Comparisons: Floche, Perle, and Stranded Cotton

Cotton Threads, Sized Up

Sources for Pussywillow Gray Linen

If you’re lucky enough to have a local needlework shop that serves up goods for surface embroidery, check with them first. If they carry any goods from Access Commodities, they’ll be able to special order the linen for you.

Since most of us aren’t in that situation, though, you can find the Pussywillow Gray embroidery linen through the following shops online:

Needle in a Haystack carries it on their website right now, and sells it in different cuts. You can also special order specific cuts. If you scroll down on that page, you can use the search feature to find the fabric.

You can find a list of retailers who carry embroidery supplies from Access Commodities here. Maybe you’ll find a shop close by!

Floche can be ordered online through Lacis and through Vaune.

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(9) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    Yes I puzzle over these modern acronyms and I wouldn’t have known what BFF means either. I like your dabbling flower design. I like Floche thread as well but you just can’t buy it in here in the UK or good quality fabric like the Pussywillow Gray linen. Oh to have a local needlework shop wouldn’t that be great. I look forward to your next floche experiment in white thread on natural fabric. Thanks for sharing with us your views on floche thread and natural fabric and for the articles on floche thread.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Hi, Mrs. Corbet

    On the subject of threads, I am planning a project that I will need some metallic threads for. Do you have any useful information that you could pass on to me? I need something that I don’t have to order online. What metallics have you used {and liked}? Where can I get them? Which ones should I avoid using? Thanks in advance!

  3. Hi Mary,

    It would seem that Hedgehog Handworks have now listed the grey pussywillow embroidery linen on their site.

  4. This sounds lovely. I mush echo Anita’s comment, though, about how hard it is to buy the linens in the UK. I suppose I shall have to order online and pay the (huge) postage!

    I actually knew BFF, (and felt very pleased with myself) but you have me stumped with SUOD and OCYD. I tried to look them up, and the nearest I got was Orange County Young Democrats, which something tells me isn’t what you meant!

    I love reading your blog, and thank you so much for all your wonderful tutorials.

    1. “She’ll Understand Some Day” – and – “Of Course You Do” – both of which no one has any idea I meant. However, if I’d used words…..! 🙂

    1. Yeeeessssss….but everything changes proportionately to the size of the thread, since it’s quite a fine thread compared to the wool normally used.

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