A Guess on Thread Sizes


Size 8 Pearl Cotton Thread (left) with 6 Stranded Floss (right)

Here’s a question: how many strands of floss thread would equal a specific size of pearl cotton thread? Floss thread comes with 6 strands of threads bundled together. You can separate the bundle and stitch with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or all 6 threads together. Pearl cotton thread is not divisible. You use it as a “single”. 

I don’t dye floss anymore but I’ve tried to compare my hand-dyed pearl cotton thread sizes with strands of floss. Following is a chart to help you compare the two types of threads. (This is just a guess, I have no real way of measuring the diameters of the threads.)

8 thoughts on “A Guess on Thread Sizes

  1. Looks like my guesses were right. I figured 2 embroidery equaled size 12; 3 strands equaled size 8; and 6 equaled size 5. When I’m cross-stitching I use 1 strand doubled so I don’t lose my needles and if I working on fabric I used either 3 or 6 strands. All my embroidery thread is stored on bobbins so I usually split new skeins into three strands before I wind it on a bobbin.

  2. Absolutely accurate, or not– this is extremely helpful! Thank you.
    About stitching on wool….do you ever use a #12 thread or does it disappear into the wool fabric?

    • I do use size 12 on wool but it depends on the wool. Some wool fabrics are very fuzzy and the 12 disappears. You’ll have to test your fabric with the size 12 and see if you like the results.

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