Using metallic floss

Looking to add sparkle to your stitching?  Check out metallic floss!  It really packs a punch when making holiday ornaments.  However, it does require a bit of care when stitching.  I've found the secret to using metallics and I want to share that secret with you. 

  • Keep the floss length short--about 12 inches.
  • Dampen the floss AND use Thread Heaven or beeswax to condition the thread
  • Use a size 24 needle
  • If using two strands, as you would in cross stitch, thread the needle with a single thread folded in half, then create a slipknot:

  • If using one strand, thread the needle as you would regular floss, but keep the tail fairly short. You will not be moving the needle along the thread from this point on.
  • It's a fact: The needle you use will cut and fray the thread, so once you have pierced the fabric with the needle, let go of the needle and pull the thread itself through the hole.  Not only does this put less pressure on the thread, it allows the thread to untwist itself.
  • Pull the thread straight through the hole in the fabric.  DO NOT let the thread rub against the fabric.  Friction causes fraying.  No Friction!
  • Good tension is essential.  I highly recommend a laying tool or trolley needle, especially if working with two threads.  The thread lays down better and reflects the light better.  Pulling too tight can make the thread kink.
There are several brands of metallic thread on the market.  I have used many of the different varieties of Kreinik floss as well as DMC Light Effects and I can recommend both.  I highly suggest you stay away from the DMC metallic thread on a spool.  It's far too fragile to work with.

Take your time, practice a bit, and above all else, have fun!