Choosing the correct needlework thread type helps achieve the desired look in your finished project. If a chart or pattern requires you to purchase the floss or thread separately, check the pattern to see what thread type is used. DMC and Craftways are popular brands for both floss and perle cotton, and Herrschners carries every color in their palettes. DMC also offers an extensive palette of tapestry wool.
Cotton floss is most commonly used for counted cross-stitch, stamped cross-stitch, and embroidery. Most skeins are solid colors, but there are also variegated hues available, as well as metallic floss to add a bit of sparkle to your design. Each skein of floss can be separated into six different strands. When stitching your project, you separate the six strands and recombine them according to the project instructions, typically stitching with two or three strands.
Unlike floss, perle cotton and tapestry wool are not divisible into separate strands. These thicker threads result in stitches that appear fuller and plusher than those stitched with divided floss. Perle cotton is a popular choice for embroidery projects, and tapestry wool is common in needlepoint.