How to separate strands of embroidery floss

If you look closely at a strand of cotton embroidery floss, you'll see that it's actually made up of six separate strands. Although some patterns suggest using all six strands, many embroidery and cross stitch patterns recommend using fewer than six. So, how are you supposed to separate strands of embroidery floss without getting knots?

There are a few ways to accomplish this, but in today's post I'll be showing you the easiest way I've found to separate floss without ending up with a total, tangled mess.

Start by separating just one strand of floss from the other five strands, shown in the photo below.

Next, while holding the five strands between the fingers of your opposite hand, simply pull that strand out to separate. This works best when you're going strand-by-strand (when you try to do this using more than just one strand, you'll find that it tends to knot up).

Now you have just one strand of embroidery floss (seen below on the left) and five left from your original strand (seen below on the right).

If a pattern calls for two strands, repeat the process; you can then thread the two separate strands that you've pulled apart, together.

I don't quite understand why this works so seamlessly - but I swear by this simple pulling method. If, like me, you prefer to see this done in video format, I have a brief video tutorial for you here:

I hope this was helpful to you!