How to Thread Your Needle so You Stitch with the Grain of the Floss

Floss does have grain. Some stitchers can tell by pulling a strand (ply) between thumb and index finger; if you are "with" the straight of the grain, the floss feels smoother. Others run the strand between their lips, saying this skin is more sensitive than the fingertips. Still others can tell just by looking at the way the strand is twisted.

More power to them! I have to rely on the "blossoming end" method.

Make a U with your length of floss and hold the two cut ends between thumb and forefinger with about 1/2 to 3/4" sticking out. Gentle "tap" on the cut ends. One of them will "blossom" more than the other. Put this blossoming end into the eye of the needle, and you will be stitching with the grain of the floss.

This blossoming technique works on as few as 2 strands.

When preparing your thread by stripping and moistening it, lay out the prepared strands with the blossoming ends at the same end. I lay my thread to dry over the arm of the couch, and I place the blossoming end toward me and the non-blossoming ends pointing toward the floor.

copyright 1996, Martha Beth Lewis
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