Separating Strands from Thread

Separating Strands from Thread

When you buy a cross stitch kit the instructions mention threads and strands – what’s that about?!

Cross Stitch Threads & Strands

Included in any cross stitch kit there are the coloured threads that will be used to sew your design onto the cloth provided.

Each length of thread is made up of 6 individual strands.

Separating strands from thread

When you are ready to use a colour, you will need to separate the required strands then thread the needle with those strands. For kits we normally use 2 strands for cross-stitching and 1 strand for backstitching (outlines and highlights).

Separating the strands can be tricky – it has to be done slowly.


  1. If a knot does start to form when separating – stop separating, smooth the thread together again and start the separation at the other end (doesn’t have to be the same threads).
  2. If 2 strands is proving too difficult to separate – try 1 at a time (some people say this is easier) then re-align 2 separated strands together before threading the needle.