Most cross-stitch is done using two strands of embroidery floss. Floss comes in skeins or on spools and is typically sold in six-ply or six-strand packaging.

Before you thread your needle, it is necessary to separate all six strands.

To separate the six-strands of floss for stitching, hold the entire strand near the top with one hand allowing the bottom to hang freely. Slowly pull each individual ply upward with the other hand, one at a time. Recombine the necessary number of strands to thread you needle and save the remaining strands for the next threading.

Practice pattern information:
Six-strand embroidery floss is used except where noted.

Each pattern includes floss numbers for Anchor and DMC. Other popular threads include pearl cotton and metallics.