Organize Your Embroidery Floss (first Steps)




 Embroidery floss comes packaged in little skeins confined by brand and number bands. These come off, so you lose the information, and if you are trying to make a pattern or merely maintain your inventory, it’s irritating to try to keep band and skein together. And the skein is prone to tangle.

There are various cardboard or plastic bobbin schemes available, but the using bobbins results in folds every inch or so on the floss, and I don't like them. The plastic DMC bows are ugly and expensive. 

For this methods, you need some rings or paper clips, and scissors, and a few safety pins.

Step 1: Wind Off and Cut

In a kitten-free location, remove bands from ONE skein at a time. Clip the number portion of the band and slip it onto your ring.

Step 2: Cut Floss to Lengths

I find the best thing to do is to rewind the skein. Wrap the skein around a large book or other object (make sure you’ll be able to get the loop off) about half the length of the strands you decide to cut. Cut the floss into roughly 18” (45 cm) lengths.
You don’t have to cut the skein into lengths, but it makes it easier to take a portion of floss off without discombobulating your whole clip-full. 

Don't make them too short; you'll have to rethread the needle, and it will interrupt your creative flow. 

Step 3: Loop Onto Holder

and loop them onto a ring (these are strong, a good size, and not too expensive)
or a paper clip. I like this shape but paper clips come in many colors and styles and you may want to color-code, or use cute ones. You want them to be rust- and tarnish-proof.

Put the uncut end of your loop through the ring or the clip, and put the ends through the loop, making a larkshead knot . Now your color number is secured with the floss, and you can use the floss without its becoming hopelessly tangled. Sometimes you can even pull a single strand off by itself, and you can put any leftover on easily.

Step 4: Group Your Holders

For a small, reasonable number of colors, you can put the rings together with a larger ring or a safety pin. Or you can group your colors and pin several groups to a piece of fabric. You can also make a group for an individual project, and return the skeins to your central flossery when the project is done. Or you can take a portion of the colors you want and make a project skein, or make a group of all the greens you like (if you do a lot of trees or zombies) or pinks (if you do a lot of unicorns or cotton candy).

Step 5: For Extra Labels

You can stick tiny labels onto unused portion of the skein bands and onto a second ring, if you want to have a color available in two different places. 

Don't they look calm, accessible, and inspiring? Sew something!



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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks I love your idea. I did find binder rings that snap open in close in the bookstore though so I don't have to bend paper clips. They come in 10s, 5s and 2s depending on size and much cheaper than the one you would find in the DMC store! I plan on using craft glue and sewing to attach cloth ribbons on a heavy cloth to organize them though I considering on using a presentation/easel type vertical binder for everyday use.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! I just started embroidering and have been struggling with what to do with the floss - I was getting ready to go to Hobby Lobby or Michaels and see if they had a kit or something then decided to look and see what others are doing and I came across this! I have everything I need right here at home! Money saved! Thank you!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The full skeins don't bother me much, it's the left overs that I find difficult to keep sorted. I save them all because you never know when you might need a colour.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It's something. Eternal struggle. My real trouble is that I misplace things and then I get another and I end up with with way too many different thread stashes. And never the right color of pink.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Great Ideas: I do think being organised is a state of mind or a characteristic. I have a "system" set up but find I don't automatically turn to it, when Ive finished a piece, to neaten up. You have inspired me again to get sorted. I love the word "Flossery" or was it "Flossory"? Just to add. Iv'e been using large thread pins that are used for knitting, (such as Aran or Argyle) where stitches are held temporarily. They are large, smooth and useful. I get mine for almost nothing from garage sales, opp-shops and bargain stores.