Embroidery thread

Embroidery thread, left to right: No. 5 perle cotton (coton perlé), matte cotton embroidery yarn, tapestry wool, cotton stranded embroidery floss

Embroidery thread is yarn that is manufactured or hand-spun specifically for embroidery and other forms of needlework.

Threads for hand embroidery include:[1]

Threads for machine embroidery are usually of polyester or rayon (less often cotton or silk).

Threads, like textiles, can contain compounds that may be harmful to humans. Many dyes have been shown to be allergenic and in some cases carcinogenic.[5][6] Testing for the presence of these dyes, and other additives can be done at many commercial laboratories.

Certification to the Oeko-tex standard may also be applied for. This tests the component for over 100 different chemicals and certifies the component according to human ecological safety.


  1. Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (March 1992). ISBN 0-89577-059-8, p. 8
  2. Shakespeare, William (2006). John Roe, ed. The poems (Updated ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 275. ISBN 9780521855518.
  3. Cumming, Valerie; Cunnington, C.W.; Cunnington, P.E. (2010). The dictionary of fashion history (Rev., updated ed.). Oxford: Berg. p. 271. ISBN 9781847885333.
  4. Kerridge, Eric (1988). Textile Manufactures in Early Modern England. Manchester University Press. p. 141. ISBN 0719026326.
  5. Crespo et al, Contact Dermatitis, 2009,
  6. www.cen.eu


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