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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Discover Floche! It’s Gorgeous – Try It!


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For those of you who have been hanging out with me on Needle ‘n Thread for a while, floche is probably not a new thread to you. You may not have tried it yet (some day, I hope to convince you!), but you’ve heard about, because I use it a lot.

I love floche! I love it more than I love chocolate. If I had to see one or the other disappear from my life, I wouldn’t cry over losing chocolate. But I would have a melt down over losing floche.

(I almost said I love it more than I love tea. But one must draw the line somewhere, when it comes to a thread addiction… life without tea wouldn’t be life at all.)

For those of you who are relatively new to Needle ‘n Thread or haven’t experienced floche before, you might appreciate more of an introduction to floche.

To that end, today I’m going to direct you to the dope, as it were, on this addictive, beautiful embroidery thread…

Floche for Hand Embroidery

Mmmmmmmmmmm…. don’t you just want some?

The funny thing about floche (even though it isn’t silk, which is positively the Queen of Embroidery Thread) is that I can’t look at it without experiencing a Massive Impulse to touch it.

This is usually followed by an Overwhelming Desire to Embroider Anything, just as long as I can embroider it with floche. Only two types of thread affect me this way: floche and silk.

And that’s saying a lot for a thread made out of the relatively humble cotton plant.

Floche for Hand Embroidery

It’s a glorious thread, and one of the best points about it is that you can pretty much use it in all the same ways you can use regular floss, but with a slightly different effect because of the structure of the thread.

So, there’s my little introduction to entice you to discover more about floche. (Update, 2019) The original article for this particular introduction was published on DMC’s “Commonthread” website, which is now defunct. The gist of that article can be found right here on Needle ‘n Thread, where the content was re-written and presented a little differently, but the idea is the same.

Oh…and how it’s pronounced.

I hope you enjoy the article and the photos!


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(34) Comments

  1. I’m actually quite glad that this type of thread isn’t easily available in my part of the world as I really own FAR too much thread already and need more like I need to walk into a wall at high speed!

    I inventoried my threads recently (counted up each type then added the numbers together) and I found that I owned around 1630 items of embroidery thread. The vast majority (probably something in the region of 1250 or more) of these threads have never been used and probably 2K+ more have only been used once and/or in small amounts. So, I’m now keeping a close eye on what I really use and seriously considering some sales in the coming months.

    Go on, Mary, do an inventory – I dare ya!!! =)

    1. I have actually outfitted a walk-in closet to be my “Thread Closet”. An embarrasement of riches! But I LOVE walking into it.

  2. I’m puzzled why floche is apparently not being sold in the UK. Even big online stores like Sew and Sew don’t stock it at present. Maybe your article will persuade DMC that there is a potential market for this thread here, too, Mary? I hope so.
    I was lucky enough to be sent some floche from the US as a gift, and it is very pleasant to stitch with.

  3. Love floche? Yes. Love floche more than tea? Uhhhh… NO. I’m with you on this one. (and all this time I thought it was pronounced ‘flosh’ {i. e. to rhyme with ‘posh’} when it’s pronounced ‘flōsh’. You learn something new every day!) I’d love to try floche… but as it has to be ordered online and costs a good bit more than floss, I haven’t yet. You mentioned in your article that Commonthread will start carrying floche in their shop next year; could you tell me where Commonthread is based?

    Thank you for making us salivate over embroidery thread again, Ms. Corbet. (And tea. I think I’ll have some.)

    Sarah 😀

  4. I too love working with floche. It spreads so softly and beautifully and has a pretty, gentle sheen.
    Thanks for including the length of the skein in the DMC article. As floche is not easy to find in South Africa, it’s very useful to know that 10g in 168 yds long when I am dividing up a skein for kits for a workshop.
    I am still unclear about the pronunciation, perhaps it’s a question of accent? I say it with a long “o” as in boat, but others say it with a short sound as in cosh or wash.

    1. Yes, there is! They’re both made from long staple cotton, they’re both mercerized, but coton a broder is made from 5 plies, and is more tightly twisted than floche, which is made from 4 plies.

  5. I’m happy that I’ve been (silently, in my head) pronouncing that correctly every time I’ve seen it here. Loved the article link, Mary. I have not used this thread, but now you have me fired up. I have a very special project coming up that I’m going to spring for using linen on, and I’m also going to use floche. Thanks as always for the inspiration!

  6. Oh yes, Floche. A very wonderful person gave me a bag of floche a few years ago (thank you dear Cheryl F.). It’s amazing stuff. And the feel is heavenly. But I haven’t used it yet. You know the old break up saying, “It’s not you; it’s me.” I feel that way about the floche – it’s not the thread; it’s me. I’m afraid I’ll use it on some project that turns out stinky and I’ll have wasted perfectly delicious floss. For now I just browse through my stash, stroke the threads, mumble words of appreciation and put it back. 🙂

  7. Dear Mary

    I Loved the article on Commonthread and all the embroidered photos. Like you I really like Floche and mmmmmmmmm I want some, but unfortunately you can’t buy it in the UK which is such a shame because it’s a beautiful thread and I would love to be able to purchase it. I do have a lot of thread especially silk thread and especially Soie D’alger which is my all time favourite and Floche comes in second. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Floche thread and for the article on Commonthread.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  8. Hi Marie,
    A big thank you for this article on Floche, really a nice thread nice while impressive at first by its texture, what about the No. 16 my little favorite, what about all these beautiful colors? Only one thing for me, I do not find them in France No. 16 color Floche. I’m going to have to order the US, if it is not the preference, I immediately go complain to DMC France, not just all this is true we have the No. 20.25, 30 cotton Floche, tradition requires.
    Another big, big thank you Mary for this valuable information. Je vous adore.

  9. Hi Mary! That was a great article on Floche. Your website was my first introduction to this wonderful thread. You spoke so highly of it, I just had to try it and I’m glad that I did. I was able to find some in a needlepoint store, What’s the Point, in Columbus Ohio. I bought a half dozen bright cheerful colors to try. I just love it. It is everything you say it is. To me it feels like flannel. I love it and want more! I’m not going to count my skeins of thread like Elizabeth did because I’m sure my count would be as bad or worse than hers what with all of the DMC colors, losts of Anchor thread, JP Coats, American thread, DMC perle, silks, etc…. Friends who no longer stitch have gifted me their threads too. If I only had the time to use up everything that I have….
    Keep up the great work Mary and get well soon.
    Dara in West Virginia

  10. You always inspire me, Mary. I desire to acquire my own stash of floche. I wish that it wasn’t so hard to find and so *expensive*.

    1. Hi, LH – Hedgehog carries floche in small put-ups, 30-yard twists, which is a good bit of thread. It’s $1.45 per twist, instead of the $6-ish for the large hanks.

  11. Dear Mary,

    You have the ability to teach us and help us discover new things–not just about embroidery! However, one of the qualities you have is to make us laugh no matter what our days bring.

    Thank you! (And I promise to try Floche. I already bought some!)

    Doris HH

  12. Mary,

    Do you think floche could be used on a hardanger project? It looks so beautiful, so I’m wondering….or is it just the wrong weight, and I should stick to the 5, 8, and 12’s. I’m just beginning hardanger, but floche looks like it would be beautiful on hardanger’s satin stitch.

    1. Hi, Adele – with Hardanger, you need a thread that’s going to hold the cut edges well. Floche is much softer than Pearl cotton, and I think the sturdiness of the Pearl cotton is necessary for finishing the edges securely for Hardanger. Plus, if you’re working on a lower count fabric, like 22 threads per inch, the floche will be a little too fine to give you the coverage you want.

  13. Hi Mary, thanks for the reminder. I bought some of this lovely thread from Hedgehog Handworks with plans to use it for the “Midnight Meander” project in the Crewel Twists book. Hazel’s material list has stranded floss, but I thought this would look nicer on the silk ground fabric than regular floss. It was very affordable in the small hanks.
    This will be a nice winter project, and now I even know how to pronounce it correctly. I had been saying Flo-shay…Silly me!

  14. It should come with a warning NOT to pull it out like floss, but rather how to unfold and cut it. I made the mistake of pulling my 1st skein ever; still trying to untangle the mess.

  15. Another lovely article, thank you so much.

    I do hope your medical matters are progressing well, and that you aren’t feeling too bad. I look forward to your blogs almost more now they don’t come every day! I open my emails, look down the list of senders and YES! One from Mary Corbet! Hooray! The excitement is greater because they are a little less frequent.

    I read your floche article with interest, and then what did I see? A link to another article by you, so I read that. Brilliant. And may I say how much I love the samples you do for us, showing the same stitch with variations on the thread used, colours combined etc., etc. Makes me itch to stitch!

    Thank you so much for all you do. Get well soon.

    I do hope DMC introduce floche to the UK soon. I’m dying to try it.

  16. Dear Mary,

    Thank you for this introduction for one who has no real knowledge of floche. Hope you are feeling o.k. Best wishes M.

  17. Oh no! The link said This page does not exist. This article isn’t from that long ago either. It has been decades since I did needlepoint and a little embroidery and look forward to getting back into embroidery. Just trying to figure out where to begin. Thank you Mary for your lovely website.

    1. Hi Mary; I too,like Susan H. tried to find the article on floche on the Commonwealth site. Could you repeat it on your website? I would really like to see the photos. Thanks, E.

  18. Mary, the article “Discover Floche” that you directed us to cannot be reached.
    Thought you might like to know. Also, I would like to read it.
    Hope you are well.

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