One thing I have learned since I first started stitching is that quality thread makes all the difference. Basic cotton embroidery floss is not expensive, but there is a big difference between brands.
I primarily use DMC 6-strand cotton embroidery floss for all of my work. 6-strand means the thread is actually made up of six individual threads. Rarely, if ever, do I use all six strands. I typically use two to four strands, although lately I've been using one strand for some of my more delicate work.
You can usually find a big display of DMC floss at your local crafts/art/hobby shop. I've also found a few online shops that carry every thread color under the sun: 123Stitch.com and Embroidery.com. Both are great, ship quickly, and have nice customer service.
My big warning: be very careful when purchasing your thread online and don't fall for imitations. When I first started stitching, I was amazed at how cheap this big pack of DMC thread was on Amazon. Well, guess what? It's actually not DMC. This cheap imitator does have the glossiness of DMC thread, nor the quality. It was unusable.
As for other types of thread, I've experimented a bit with pearl cotton, coton a broder, and wool thread, but not enough to give any quality feedback right now. I'm hoping to experiment with these threads in the near future and will report back!
Want more of my hand embroidery tips? You can find them here.
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