Embroidery Floss

Your Guide to Embroidery Floss: What It Is; Ideas for Using It; Information About the Right Needles to Use for Stitching With It; Embroidery Floss Reviews; Plus Free Patterns for Making Bunches of Spectacular Art and Craft Projects With Embroidery Floss

What Is Embroidery Floss?

Embroidery floss (also known as “stranded cotton) is constructed similarly to sewing thread or yarn. It comes packaged in different configurations. Frequently, it is available in skeins, with each skein having 6 threads. You can use the floss as packaged, or you can pull the threads apart and use them separately or in smaller groupings in cases where you want to achieve finer levels of detail in your needlework.


Embroidery floss is manufactured or hand-spun specifically for use in embroidery, cross stitch and needlework. It can be made of mercerized cotton, cotton blends, rayon, linen, metallic polyester, silk, wool (wool thread for embroidery is often referred to as “crewel yarn”), or other fibers. Many different weights and colors of embroidery floss are available.


Matte embroidery cotton (also known as “coton à broder” in French) comes in a matte-finish and is usually a twisted 5-ply thread.

Vintage Embroidery Floss

If you look for embroidery floss on the secondary market, you’ll have many additional options; embroidery floss has a long history, and I’m always enchanted by the broad range of colors and fibers available in vintage embroidery flosses.

What Needles to Use With Embroidery Floss?

Tapestry Needles for Crochet, Knitting, Cross Stitch, Needlepoin

Tapestry Needles to Use With Embroidery Floss, Crochet Thread or Yarn


Since embroidery floss is typically thicker and weightier than sewing thread, you’ll need a needle that can accommodate a wider diameter. Look for tapestry needles or darning needles to meet this need. If you’re using embroidery floss to work cross stitch on crochet, you might prefer a blunt plastic yarn needle.

Free Crochet Patterns Using Embroidery Floss

Crochet Bead Necklace With Dichroic Glass Pendant

Bead Crochet Necklace Pattern

Bead Crochet Necklace Pattern


If you have some sparkly metallic embroidery floss in your craft supplies stash, you could crochet this lovely beaded necklace. You’ll also need a few additional craft supplies including a fused glass pendant, some beads and some jewelry findings. It’s a super quick craft project that looks lavish and expensive, but it is surprisingly affordable to make.

Free Crochet Heart Applique Pattern Using Embroidery Floss

You Can Use Embroidery Floss or Other Materials to Crochet This Pretty Heart Applique Pattern

You Can Use Embroidery Floss or Other Materials to Crochet This Pretty Heart Applique Pattern.


I’ve crocheted this basic heart applique bunches of times using different materials. Here you can see how it looks when crocheted using red DMC embroidery floss and embellished with a satin ribbon.


Click or tap here to get the free crochet heart applique pattern.

DIY Button Necklace

Crochet Button Necklace Made From Embroidery Floss: Free Pattern

Crochet Button Necklace Made From Embroidery Floss: Free Pattern


You use two startlingly contrasting colors of embroidery floss to crochet the band of this pretty necklace. If you want to make it as a Christmas gift for someone special, you could use red and green embroidery flosses to do the crocheting. Otherwise, you might want to try using colors that you or the intended wearer wear frequently. Black and white embroidery floss would be a fantastic color combination to consider. Click or tap here to get the free crochet button necklace pattern.

Free Crochet Christmas Wreath Pattern

Crochet Christmas Wreath Ornaments

Crochet Christmas Wreath Ornaments

Here you can see the same Wreath Christmas Ornament design crocheted multiple times using different materials. See Wreath Sample #2 for an example that I worked using a pretty two-ply mercerized cotton embroidery floss. I used a 7 / 1.65 mm steel crochet hook to crochet this version of the wreath. My finished wreath measures about 1.75″, not counting the hanging loop; it’s the ideal size for using to decorate a miniature table-top Christmas tree, or to use as a dollhouse miniature.

Embellish Your Paper Crafts Projects With Embroidery Floss

6x8 Vacation Scrapbook Featuring Tropical Hawaiian Plants

I used embroidery floss to work surface crochet slip stitch around one of the photos on this scrapbooking page.


This scrapbooking layout showcases photos of some tropical plants I enjoyed seeing when I took a trip to Hawaii. I embellished this page with some surface crochet slip stitches around the edges of the lower pocket card.


I used a gorgeous vintage variegated embroidery floss for doing the stitching. This floss dates back to the early 1900s; I used to collect vintage magazines, needlework patterns, and needlework supplies from this time period, and I still have some of the embroidery floss hanging around in my stash. My favorite thing about this page is the amazing synergy between the green colors in the floss and the gorgeous green shades on the tropical plants.

This Is Paradise 6″x8″ Scrapbooking Layout Embellished With Surface Crochet Slip Stitch in Embroidery Floss


I embellished this scrapbooking layout using surface crochet slip stitch worked in crochet thread, but you could just as easily use embroidery floss to achieve this effect.

I embellished this scrapbooking layout using surface crochet slip stitch worked in crochet thread, but you could just as easily use embroidery floss to achieve this effect. Click or tap here for more info about this scrapbooking layout.

Collage and Mixed Media Art Using Embroidery Floss

I frequently use embroidery floss in collage and mixed media art work. Here are a few examples showing ideas for how to incorporate embroidery floss into your mixed media artwork:

Botanical Art Trading Cards With Buttons and Embroidery by Amy Solovay; note that the fiber used for the stitching in the piece at upper right was crewel yarn.

Botanical Art Trading Cards With Embroidery Floss and Buttons by Amy Solovay; note that the fiber used for the stitching in the piece at upper right was crewel yarn.


Botanical Art Trading Card With Buttons -- Original Art by Amy Solovay

Botanical Art Trading Card With Embroidery Floss and Buttons — Original Art by Amy Solovay


See Also: Collage Art Materials

Embroidery Floss for Cross Stitch

Gardening Themed Cross Stitch Piece Featuring an Image of Beets and Beet Greens. Photo Courtesy of Gio Gix.

Gardening Themed Cross Stitch Project Featuring an Image of Beets and Beet Greens. Photo Courtesy of Gio Gix.


Crafters typically use embroidery floss to stitch lovely designs onto table linens, clothing, aprons, sheets, pillowcases, Christmas stockings, wall art pictures, and other surfaces. You can also use embroidery floss for embellishing your jewelry pieces.

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