Choosing thread for card embroidery
Thread manufactures Anchor, Aurifil, DMC, Kreinik, Madeira and Sulky have thread that can be used for card embroidery, also known as embroidery on paper. One or more of these should be available from your nearest needlecraft shop. You will find some mail order sources of embroidery thread and links to manufacturers on our useful links page.
When choosing a thread for card embroidery keep in mind that the pin pricked hole in your card presents an abrasive surface to the thread. Threads with a smooth, shinny surface will withstand the abrasion better than fluffy, rough or loosely stranded threads. Thread produced for machine embroidery is often stronger and shiner than standard sewing thread. Metallic thread designed for hand embroidery is also a good choice for card embroidery.
DMC rayon skeins give a silky look and the Madeira variegated threads can also give an attractive finish. You only need to use a single strand of thread. Aurilux (satin finished polyester) from the Aurifil machine embroidery range has been used to good effect.
Kreinik 1 ply cord has a rich metallic colour that shimmers and glints when it catches the light, creating an elegant look. The 1 ply version of this single-strand thread is ideal for stitching cards. The cord is thin and strong and comes in 26 different colours.
Tips on using Kreinik Cord on cards:
Kreinik cord is supplied on spools with a snap mechanism. Both sides of the spool open, so look for the side where the thread end is located. Insert your thumbnail under the cap, and rotate the spool while gently lifting the cap to release the thread (the cap should not pop off). After removing the thread you require you can snap the lid shut to secure the end of the spooled thread.
Use a length of thread that you are comfortable with. We suggest using about a third of a metre (14 inches) for greater control. Short lengths are less likely to get caught on the corner of your card or to knot. Short lengths also avoid excessive abrasion on the thread from repeated passes through the holes in your card.
Pull the thread completely through each hole but do not over tighten or the card will be bowed.
If your thread gets twisted then let your needle hang free to allow the thread to untwist.
Securing metallic thread on your needle so that it does not slip:
When you have cut the required length of thread, fold about 5 cm (2 inches) from one end and thread the loop through the eye of your needle. Slip the loop over the sharp end of the needle and pull it tight.
Selecting the correct size of needle.
We recommend a Number 10 embroidery needle. The main thing is that it goes through your pricked holes easily. On the other hand you do not want it to drop through because a little bit of resistance helps keep it in place whilst you turn the card over.
A beading needle is useful for stitching fine beads in place.
Related web links:
Sewing stitches used to embroider greetings cards
From string art to stitching cards: a brief history
How to add a Stitching Cards font to your computer
How Stitching Cards are made
More craft links...