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How Many Strands of Floss Do You Use?

By January 13, 2007

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Diann emailed me this week with the following question:

I am doing a cross stitch of my son & daughter-in-law's wedding photo. But I don't know how many threads I need for the material I'm using. Is there a rule of thumb? I am using a 14 count material.

I suggested that Diann use two strands of floss for cross stitch and one strand of floss for back stitch. There are times, however, when I use one strand of floss for 14-count fabric because it emphasizes the x-shape of the stitch.

I know what pattern keys and kit diagrams suggest about how many strands of floss should be used, but I am interested in knowing what you actually do when you are stitching. Do you follow the rule-of-thumb or do you vary how many strands of floss according to the project?

More About Cross Stitch Floss:


January 15, 2007 at 2:20 am
(1) Carey K. says:
January 15, 2007 at 11:54 am
(2) Laurie Lou says:

Most of the time I follow the rule of using floss equal to the weight of one strand of fabric. However, since most of the cross stitch I do is detailed and finely shaded, I usually use three strands of floss on 14 ct to make it look richer and more like tapestry.

January 22, 2007 at 9:58 am
(3) Still says:

Several years ago I used Aida – I think I would use two strands on 14ct. Last things were 18 ct. and I used one strand. Whatever I take, linen mostly, but very different colours, I first try out 1 or 2 or 3, instead of three nowadays one-stranded floss (Anchor or DMC + I love to work with Danish Blomstergarn) and then I show it to my husband, my son(s) – whoever is sitting around here.
“We” like to take 28ct. linen (mostly pale colours) and then we take two strands DMC or Anchor or Danish Blomstergarn. I use Danish Blomstergarn when I’ve got to work with many colours and when I’ve got a dark fabric too.

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