Tips for Stitching with Variegated or Hand Dyed Threads

These are our tips for stitching with variegated or hand dyed threads:

  • Variegated threads can be used as a substitute for solid colours in most forms of embroidery and give you a very personal result. They look fantastic when doing a cross stitch that requires only one colour - (eg) Long Dog Samplers! 
  • Look carefully at the skein, the variations of colour within it, whether the colours fade slowly or quickly into each other and how long each colour sequence is.
  • Consider these factors as well as the type of embroidery/ cross stitch you are stitching. (eg) If you are stitching in a thread that changes from green to pink, the overall finish in a stitchery will not be affected as much by the colour changes as if you are stitching a variegated leaf in satin stitch where you specifically want the leaf to be green and the flower petals pink.
  • If you are stitching a cross stitch then generally the rule of thumb is to complete each cross as you go.The colours in the skein are reproduced in a shorter sequence by doing this. 
  • The length of the colour sequence varies from brand to brand so consider this before you start. On 14ct Aida or 28ct linen, you will stitch approx 3 complete cross stitches to every inch or 2.5cm of floss. With this knowledge as a bit of a guide you can maximise the effect of the colour change in your work.
  • If the area you will be stitching is large and you are using a hand dyed or over dyed thread, we recommend that you buy all that you will need and  a little bit more from the one batch before you begin so that the dyelots are the same. Matching dyelots after a project has been started can be a very frustrating and disappointing exercise.
  • Try substituting variegated threads for solid colours in your embroidery and have fun!