Cotton embroidery floss is used for many different needlework projects, and how you handle your floss will determine the beauty of your finished project.
Winding Your Bobbin
When you purchase your floss skein, carefully unwind the floss and wrap it around a floss bobbin (can be purchased in either cardboard or plastic). Do not stretch the floss or wrap it tightly on the bobbin. Rather wrap it on the bobbin by laying the floss side by side. By wrapping it this way, the floss will not bunch up, and the floss on your bobbin will lie evenly and take less room in your floss box.
Cotton floss skeins come in six individual strands which you will separate into the number of strands you need, depending on the count of your evenweave fabric. You will want the squares of the fabric completely covered so no background shows through the stitches.
Separating and Combining Strands
When you are ready to begin your project and have determined the number of strands you will be working with, you will separate each strand, combine the number you need and put them together when you thread your needle. By doing this, your stitches will look much nicer and more even. Cut the length of floss you want to use and then pull one strand at a time so the floss will not bunch up and cause knots.
Wrap the remaining floss back on your bobbin, and when you are ready to start a new thread, pull each strand separately again, even if you only have two strands left on your cut length.
When you are doing your stitches, it is important that the individual threads lay side by side in your stitch, particularly when you put the top cross on. An easy way to always have flat stitches is by “railroading” your stitches. You will see in the example how this is done. Basically what you do is put your needle between the two threads as you stitch. This will automatically separate the strands so they will lie side by side instead of on top of each other.
Detangling Your Thread
As you are stitching, your thread will become twisted. To avoid this, let your thread dangle every so often and the weight of the needle will untwist it.