thread bits // embroidery floss grain
I've been doing embroidery on and off since I was a little girl, and seriously for nearly ten years. And yet, it wasn't all that long ago that I learned something mind blowing. Now it's time to pass it on to you.
There is a right and wrong end to your embroidery floss.
Embroidery floss has a "grain" to it. And for a smoother, happier embroidery experience, you should go with the grain. Threading the floss through your needle the wrong way will pull your thread against the grain, which will make the floss get roughed up. Stitching with the grain keeps it smooth.
So how can you tell and make sure that you are starting with the right end?
Well, usually the end that is sticking out of a skein of DMC floss will be the right end to thread. That's not always the case with all embroidery floss. To check, run the floss through your fingers, there's a subtle difference, but going with the grain will feel smoother. You'll want to pull the floss through the fabric with the grain, so thread your needle accordingly.
I find that it's easiest to tell on a cut that is all six strands. After I separate the strands (when I'm doing so), I try to keep track of the "right end".
Do you stitch with the grain? Were you in the dark on this fact for as long as I was?
UPDATE: Mary Corbet emailed me about this topic, and has now shared her own thoughts. Read them here!