Hand Embroidery Tips: Organizing Your Threads

September 29, 2018

Hand Embroidery Tips: Organizing Your Threads

One of my most frequently asked questions over on Instagram is how I organize my embroidery threads. 

Keeping my threads organized is so essential to making stitching easier. I primarily work with DMC six strand cotton floss (this site is my favorite place to buy it). This type of floss is typically sold in skeins. A skein is a loose coil of thread and has two label tabs on either end. DMC gives each color its own identifying number. This makes re-ordering thread easy because you can just locate the color number you need more of. 

When I first started, I never undid the coil; I just pulled the thread. Big mistake. Over time, these coils get knotted, twisted, and/or impossible to keep track up. Once that little sticker closure with the number disappears, it's next to impossible to remember the number of that color shade. 

So what to do? I finally got smart and ordered plastic bobbins (these DMC bobbins are very sturdy; this is a less expensive dupe that works just as well) and a divided thread storage box. Game changer! Now when I get new skeins of thread, I set aside some time to wind the thread onto the bobbin, write the color number on the bobbin with a Sharpie, and organize the bobbins in my thread boxes. I choose to organize the colors by shade. Some people may choose to organize by color number. It's up to you! Also, I prefer the plastic bobbins. The paper ones that come with the box of pretty flimsy and do not hold up over time.

 

It's pretty time consuming to wind thread manually onto the bobbins, but turns out to be a true lifesaver in the long run. Park yourself with a show on Netflix and get winding. Happy organizing!

Want more of my hand embroidery tips? You can find them here

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3 Responses

Frederike
Frederike

January 04, 2017

Exactly the same way as I organize my DMC. Don’t you think it looks better then boxes of candy? ;-)

Kim
Kim

October 10, 2016

I love the way you have your colors sorted. I would love to hear how you sort the skeins once you have them wound.

Linda Meyer
Linda Meyer

March 16, 2016

Where did you order or buy the plastic bobbins and storage box? Thanks! Your work is beautiful!

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