Embroidery Thread and Felt ~ What Every Crafter Should Know

28 Oct

Basics of felt and embroidery (Cross Stitch) thread

If you are new to the world of felt crafting you may have noticed that cross stitching or thread embroidery seems to be the go to choice for most felt crafters. And it’s no wonder  – Skeins of cross stitching thread are readily available in a million color choices are inexpensive and are easy to store and transport. How easy is it to store?  How about over 100 colors in the space of 3″ easy? More on that below.

Cross Stitching Thread Vs Spool Thread in crafting.

One of the best things about working with felt is its wide range of colors and ease of use in smaller projects and detail work. But all those small scraps of color can add up to a lot of thread. The cost of embroidery or cross stitching thread can be as much as 80% cheaper than traditional thread spools. (Translated:  16 skeins of cross stitching thread vs. 2 spools of standard thread.)  You may also find yourself working with shades of felt you don’t use often or sewing very small details and don’t see a need to invest in a larger spool to sew.

Sheep Shaped Bobbins for Cross stitching thread.

Traditional spools of thread are round and have a tendency to roll around which, while helpful on a sewing machine is quite annoying when hand crafting. Bobbins lie flat and just beg to be thrown into a project baggie for crafting on the go. Cross stitching thread is has very little sheen or shine to it making it blend easily into dense felt.  The cotton in embroidery thread isn’t as strong as the typical spool threads but this generally doesn’t present a problem.

Cross Stitching or embroidery thread is easy to find. Many big box stores now only carry a few shades of thread but will still carry dozens of shades of  embroidery thread. Since most felt work is hand sewn the aggravation of separating the threads in exchange for a wide selection of easy to locate, portable, space-saving, inexpensive colors seems a small price to pay.

Embroidery thread and felt sewing tips Different thicknesses of  embroidery or cross stitch thread used in running stitches and french knots on felt.

#25 cotton embroidery floss is the most commonly sold type, it comes in six strands of thread twisted into one thick strand. Most sewing projects are done with just 1 or 2 threads separated from the bunch after cutting it to the desired length. Occasionally you will want a thicker thread for a tighter hold, visible stitching or filling in details.

Cross stitching thread and felt

Click HERE for more on stitches and their uses.

For larger products or often used colors standard spool threads are still a better bet because all that untangling of thread can be really time-consuming.

 I have sew all sorts of things using only embroidery thread and felt:

DIY Seahorse hobby horse

Free DIY Felt Seahorse Hobby Horse Pattern

Play around with the thicknesses and stitch styles for added detail on any project.

Embroidery floss is also available in silk, linen, glittered, metallic and even glow in the dark!

gulf coast charity- felt food pattern

Fish, Clams, and Shrimp from the Gulf Coast Catch Pattern

How to store embroidery thread.

Now that I’ve helped you justify your purchase of 85 skeins of embroidery thread let me give you a word of warning, this whole project can go south if you don’t move that thread to bobbins ASAP. Your 8th grade jewelry box has nothing on the tangled rainbow hell that awaits those who don’t heed my warning.

Luckily, moving the thread to a bobbin is simple although a bit time-consuming…

sheep bobbins

Slip one cuff off at a time taking care not to distort or twist the thread too much.

Keep the thread in its circle and look for the shortest thread along the top. It should come apart smoothly.

Wrap it around your bobbin repeat this process 84 times while binge watching Netflix programming…

Sheep shaped bobbins

Rein in your threads Bo Peep style with these free printable felt sheep bobbins.

That’s all well and good but how do you store sheep shaped bobbins you ask.

How to store Thread Bobbins.

Store Embroidery thread in 3" binder and pocket pages. Easy to see and stores on a shelf.

I store my sheep in a 3″ binder inside deep pocketed pocket pages and I always know where to find them.

One of my favorite things about storing the thread bobbins this way is that they are easy to flip through and hold samples against for the best color matches possible.

When buying pocket pages look for deep pockets to help keep your sheep in line, since they will start to slip put if your binder is held upside down. While winding your bobbins try to make your sheep bellies even and flat so they don’t slip out of the pages as easily.

Happy Crafting

~Andie

Felt Supply - Online Worldwide shipping huge selection

One Response to “Embroidery Thread and Felt ~ What Every Crafter Should Know”

  1. vjcollins October 29, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    What a great guide! Thanks, I’ve bookmarked this for future reference!

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