The Why and How of Splitting Floss 🪡

Whether you are new to embroidery or an experienced stitcher, you may be unaware that splitting floss is an option for you! I know that I had never split floss until 5 years into my stitching journey! It was always all 6 strands or nothing!

But how do you split floss? And why would you do it? 

The How:

  1. Cut the floss to your desired length—my go-to is an arm length of floss (roughly 12-16”). 

  2. Use your fingers to flatten one end of your floss. As you do this, you’ll see all 6 strands of your floss. 

  3. Gently separate the number of strands you need. For example, if you need 2, grab those 2 strands and gently pull it apart from the other 4 strands. Some people like to push the unused floss downward but I personally feel like that causes too many chances of the floss tangling and being unusable later, so I prefer to pull the floss apart.

  4. Now your floss is ready to be used! Be sure to save whatever floss you aren’t using so that you can either combine it with other strands, or use it on its own. 

    Watch the video here 👇

The Why:

Now that we know how to do it, the question is why would you go through all this extra work?

The answer is: TEXTURE! 

Including more strands of floss in your design helps to provide a thicker texture, while having fewer strands will give you finer lines and a more delicate looking piece.  

Take a look at the photo below to see the difference between strand sizes for various kinds of stitches.  

A quick note: when using different thread sizes, you need to also use different needle sizes. Not sure what kind of needle to use? Read our post on needles here.

I hope today’s Abide Guide helps you in your embroidery journey! Don’t want to miss out on a future Abide Guide post? Be sure to sign up for our email list below and when you do, you'll grab a free pattern)!

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