Getting Ready

Get ready to start stitching this fun technique! There are a few things to do to prep your supplies.

Prepare your Thread

There are two common ways to open and cut a skein of Pearl Cotton, depending on the length of thread you prefer or need.

For approximately 19” lengths of thread: Push the two labels toward the center.  Find the end with the two loops and cut through the bottom of each loop.  Move the labels back into place. Pick and pull out a single piece of thread from the top loop.


For approximately 38” lengths of thread: Remove both labels and untwist skein to form an oval. Cut through all the threads at one end of the oval. Pick and remove one thread for use as needed. To keep the threads tidy for future use, put the color number label back onto the threads and slide it to the center.  Fold the threads in half and set aside.


TIP:  Pearl Cotton is commonly stitched using one full strand for embroideries and is not doubled up to make a thicker thread.  If you want a heavier thread for your embroidery choose a Pearl Cotton 3 or a size 5.  If you are working a delicate stitch or using a light weight fabric, use a Pearl Cotton 12 or a size 8 for your embroidery.

Preparing the Fabric

  1. When cutting your fabric always allow extra fabric for finishing. You should leave three inches all around.
  2. Don’t wash your fabric before you use it. Washing will tighten up the holes and make stitching on the fabric more difficult as the squares become harder to see.
  3. Use an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric stretched tight, however remove the hoop when you are not stitching to prevent “hoop marks.”


Thread Your Needle

Follow this handy needle threading guide to thread your needle with the DMC Needle Threader. Click here for more tips on how to thread your needle!


Reading the Design Chart

Your design chart contains all the information you’ll need to stitch your design. A thread color key shows you the symbols that correspond to each color. The squares on the Design Chart correspond to the squares on the fabric. Every Square on the Design Chart that requires a stitch will contain a symbol. It is important that you centralize your design. Follow the four arrows on the design, where they all intersect is the middle point.