Crochet mainly uses yarn, but have you ever wondered if you can use embroidery floss? Embroidery floss is often used for cross-stitch, embroidery, counted thread, smocking, needlepoint, crewel, quilting, punch embroidery, and appliqué.
Embroidery floss can also be used in crocheting. However, there are myths around the use of embroidery floss in crocheting that will make even experienced crafters scared to give it a try. There are actually many beautiful things you can create using embroidery floss, and it is not difficult at all.
Beginner’s Guide to Crocheting Using Embroidery Floss
What is Embroidery Floss?
Embroidery floss is also called stranded cotton. It is a slightly glossy, loosely twisted 6-strand thread that is usually made of cotton but can also be manufactured in linen, silk, and rayon. The standard thread for cross-stitch is the cotton floss, while Brazilian embroidery uses extremely shiny rayon floss.
Types of Embroidery Floss
- Cotton Floss
It is a standard for cross-stitch. Cotton floss is made from mercerized cotton, which makes the floss smoother, stronger, and provide its lustrous appearance. Cotton floss is divisible, which means the strands can be used in a group or individually, depending on the desired thickness.
- Light Effects
It is a reflective polyester floss that comes in shades such as Jewels, Precious Metals, Pearlescent, Antiques, Gloe-In-The-Dark, and Fluorescents tones.
- Variegated Floss
It has a blend of soft multicolors that seamlessly flow into one another. The faint color changes reveal themselves on every stitch.
- Metallic Floss
It adds metallic qualities to any craft project and is usually pure polyester or poly blend.
- Silk Floss
It is highly versatile and made of pure silk. It adds a distinctive elegance to any craftwork. It is excellent for cross-stitching, crewel tapestry, and smocking because of its lustrous shine and saturated colors.
- Satin or Rayon Floss
This type of floss is soft and highly lustrous. It is excellent to use as an accent thread because it is particularly striking.
- Pearl Cotton
It is a twisted, 2-ply thread with a high sheen and is non-divisible.
Common Misconceptions of Using Embroidery Floss in Crocheting
- Embroidery floss is too awkward to use
If you have worked with a thread before, using an embroidery floss is easy.
- Working with embroidery floss is hard
It is actually not hard at all, as it uses the same skills as crocheting using yarn. Embroidery thread is thinner, and the hook used is smaller but the process is just the same. You just need a little practice to get used to the size.
- Embroidery floss is difficult on the hands
Although it is true that working with smaller thread and hook can cause pain in your hands, it does not have to be that way. You can try using ergonomic tools and make sure you are doing regular hand exercises.
- Embroidery floss is only for doilies
You can use embroidery thread for a lot of things. You can actually crochet any item with an embroidery thread that you would with yarn. Although it is better fitted to lightweight, lacier but that includes all from large crochet bedspreads to small crochet bracelets.
- You have to block embroidery floss crochet projects
Some people like to block anything they make, while some hate it and avoid any project that requires blocking. If you hate blocking, you can still do embroidery thread crochet projects, but you have to choose them wisely. Crochet jewelry is an example of a project that won’t need blocking.
Tips in Embroidery Floss Crochet
- When you are using embroidery floss, it is best to work with steel crochet hooks because they are designed for working with thread. The head of a steel crochet hook is a little different from what you are used to, so you may have to practice. If you find it difficult, you can practice first with bigger hooks of the same head type and yarn so you can get the hang of it.
- Pick the suitable crochet hook handle. The main reason why some people find thread crochet harder than yarn crochet is because they are using much thinner hooks. To resolve this problem, choose a hook with a bigger handle.
- Do your yarn overs close to the hook head. You have to make sure that it is done above the part where the hook starts to get wider. If you don’t do this, your loops will be too loose.
- To better control your tension, wind your floss around your non-working hand. This is really helpful when you are crocheting a thread. There are many ways to wrap your yarn in your hand. You just have to stick with what is comfortable to you.
- When you’re using an embroidery floss, you might want to crochet tighter than you do with a yarn. However, do not crochet too tightly that you cannot work into the loops and that you hurt your hands. You just have to crochet a bit tighter than usual.
- Pay attention to the crochet projects you have been doing before you work with an embroidery floss crochet. Jumping from a big hook working with bulky yarn to embroidery crochet is a drastic move and will make your floss work seem a bit too tiny. You can slowly work your way down to the smaller sizes, rather than jumping immediately to embroidery floss crochet.
- Your setting should be amenable to your work. Make sure you have good lighting so your eyes won’t be strained. Choose lighter colored embroidery floss at first for same reason. Never try this work when you are tired, try it when you are energized, refreshed, and ready to learn.
- Find fun in embroidery floss crochet. Crochet has its share of challenging moments, but it is supposed to be fun, overall. Be gentle with yourself and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Be patient and focus on the things that are positive and pleasurable about the work.
- Pick a beginner’s crochet pattern or work with a very simple crochet swatch with just the basic stitches to get the hang of it without the pressure to follow a pattern.
Reasons to Try Embroidery Floss Crochet
Maybe you are asking, “Why bother to learn how to crochet with an embroidery floss when I already know how to do it with yarn?”
Here are some excellent reasons to try embroidery floss
- It will boost your crochet confidence. You think it’s hard, but it’s not. You will feel really good when you get to realize that you can do it. It is an excellent way to build your self-esteem.
- It will help you refine your motor skills.
- Learning something new in crochet is very exciting. It refreshes the craft for us and expands it, as well.
- You can create several new things. The previous projects you have made will get a new life when you work on them with an embroidery floss.
Crochet Items You Can Work on Embroidery Floss
It is an easy technique that can yield stunning results. Patterns for filet crochet are made up of solid meshes and open meshes with patterns that characterize this. The mesh is made with the use of double crochet stitches separated by spaces.
Wedding or Bridal Crochet
Several items for a wedding can be made in embroidery floss crochet, from the bow around the bouquet to the crochet garter.
A crochet doily is an ornamental mat used for protecting surfaces, furniture protection, binding flowers, as a head covering, clothing ornamentation, food service presentation, and more. It is identified by openwork, meaning the surface of the underlying object shows through.
Vintage collars are making a huge comeback as an accessory and are actually already a fashion staple. Thread crochet is so perfect for this.
Embroidery floss allows you to make fine exquisite jewelry with or without embellishments.
How to Properly Store Embroidery Floss
Once you’ve got the hang of using embroidery floss, you have to be aware of how to store it properly, as well. Since flosses come in small skeins, they need to be cut and unwound so you would be removing the labels, and it can get messy. You can use bobbins. You can use a specialty bobbin, a plastic, or a paper to wrap your floss around. You also have to make sure you write the floss number on the bobbin to avoid confusion.
Can I use all types of embroidery floss for crocheting?
You can definitely try using all of them and see if they work well with crocheting. Yarns are made of several types of fibers too, so there is nothing stopping you from trying all kinds of embroidery floss in crocheting.
Crocheting is a flexible craft. You can use other types of thread other than yarn. Crocheting with embroidery floss is a new skill you can be proud of when you are able to master it. You can create new items that will give a fresh look to your old projects. Trying something new is always exciting!