Saturday, September 27

How to pull thread from a skein

I have a confession to make. Until last week I didn't really know how to pull floss from a skein. Usually I just pulled at the first loose end I'd find. Not noticing which end of the skein it was. Sometimes it was the right end and the thread could easily be pulled from the skein, often it was the wrong end and I would end up with a tangled mess.

The other day I thought it would be wise to try and find out if there was some logic to the whole process. It turned out the DMC skeins I was using do have a 'business end'... I felt a bit silly posting my 'aha' moment on Instagram but then it turned out I wasn't the only one. It's just one of those things no one ever talks about! Soon I started referring to the whole thing as #Flossgate and like with other 'gates' it needed further investigation!

I conducted a comparative 'thread-pulling' study of four different brands of embroidery floss I found in my stash: DMC, Sublime Stitching, Anchor and Cosmo. These are all six stranded flosses, but I must add the Anchor floss is rather old so possible today's skeins will give a different result.

Let's start with DMC: the business end is the side where the thread number is.

Anchor: the right side to pull the thread from is the side where label with the brand name is.

Sublime Stitching: it took me quite a while to find out that the beginning and the end of the thread where at the same side! It's the side where the number label is. You just need to gently pull both to find out which one comes loose from the skein more easily.

Finally Cosmo: as you can see in the photo the best way to pull thread from the skein is on the side where the brand label is.

I hope this study is helpful for some of you! Do let me know in the comments if you happen to know how this works with other brands. :)

p.s. find more of my Embroidery 'Aha' moments here.


  1. Thanks so much for the tips - this is something I've never thought about before but is so good to know. I only ever use Anchor threads and never thought to check which end I shoudl draw from to get tangle free thread. Now I know I'll never have to spend time untangling my skeins of thread again.


I <3 comments, so don't be shy!