Sulky thread for embroidery and cross stitch

Sulky thread for embroidery and cross stitch

with 12 Comments

One of the best things about being a stitcher is getting to experiment with so many amazing threads, fabrics, and tools. This tutorial is demonstrating some of Sulky’s threads, particularly those that are great for cross stitch and embroidery. In the video demonstration I’ll be using 12 wt. Cotton Petites thread, 30 wt. cotton sewing thread, and Sulky Sliver metallic threads. You’ll see the differences between them all, how they compare to other brands, and what they look like in cross stitch and embroidery.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality, and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. I would never recommend something I wouldn’t use myself. 🙂



Sulky threads

12 wt. Cotton Petites

For comparison purposes, one strand of 12 wt. Cotton Petites is roughly approximate to two strands of embroidery floss. There are 46m/50 yards in each spool (as opposed to 24m of “two strands” per skein of embroidery floss), and Sulky’s range has 160 colours. You can also buy some colours of the Cotton Petite thread in 330 yard and 2100 yard lengths. 130 are solid colours and 30 are variegated colours (called “blendables”, they look really pretty). For those who like complete coverage (and typically use 3 strands of embroidery floss on 14 count), they may find there’s a little too much fabric showing through, but I liked the effect of the single strand of cotton. You don’t have to worry about your threads twisting or laying flat (like you do when using two strands of embroidery floss), so your stitches always look perfect. The Cotton Petites also works well for embroidery, it has a nice density so textured stitches look nice. You also can double it (like the French knots in the sample piece) or blend it (like the woven wheel roses). The 12 wt. thread is also great for blackwork, and it has a nice dense line. The Cotton Petites thread is made in Italy. The snap cap of the spool makes it easy to store extra thread that you’ve cut too much of, and you don’t need to wind it onto bobbins.


30 wt. cotton sewing thread

The 30 wt. thread is great for hand or machine sewing, it creates a lovely fine line (and not fluffy like some threads can be). Each spool is 450m/500yards, comes in 130 colours, and it’s also made in Italy (and you can get some colours in 3200 yard jumbo cones as well). In the blackwork sample I’ve used both one and two strands of the 30 wt. thread, plus one and two strands of the 12 wt. thread. It creates a lovely variation in line density, I really highly recommend these two threads in combination for blackwork.


Sulky threads blackwork


Sulky Sliver metallic threads

The Sulky Sliver metallic threads come in a range of 24 colours, and they are made in Japan. They can be used to add shimmer to other threads (blending it with 1-2 strands of another colour), or stitched on its own. You can also double this thread for a denser metallic effect (see photo, light pink and one silver has been doubled, and the holographic silver is a single strand).


Sulky Sliver metallic thread detail


Pattern credits

The stitched cross stitch and blackwork samples in this tutorial came from XStitch Magazine Issue 3 (“Space”).  Featured are Lucie Heaton‘s blackwork pattern “The Phases of the Moon”, and Smart Cross Stitch‘s “Micro Mission” pattern. The embroidery sample is inspired by Cristin Morgan‘s pattern in her “Hoop Dreams” book.


Links mentioned in the video

Sulky colour conversion chart

Sulky/DMC Excel chart

Tutorial on gridding with fishing line (or Sulky Sliver thread)


Sulky thread for embroidery and cross stitch
Article Name
Sulky thread for embroidery and cross stitch
This tutorial demonstrates some of Sulky's threads for cross stitch and embroidery, such as 12 wt. Cotton Petites thread, 30 wt. cotton sewing thread, and Sulky Sliver metallic threads.
Publisher Name
Peacock & Fig
Publisher Logo

12 Responses

  1. lou
    | Reply

    I have just started stitching on 40 count linen using 1 thread over 2 and I really love it. What I am struggling with is 1 over 1 stitching. Would sulky 40wt be suitable for this. Thanks Lou

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Hi Lou! I’m not sure, I’ve never stitched on such high thread count fabric over one. The 40wt would be very similar in thickness to any machine sewing thread, so just try it with any thread you have lying around and see how you like the effect. Or just buy a spool of the 40wt in a colour that you might use for other projects like mending or whatnot, and try it out. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth
    | Reply

    Found a local store that sells the sulky brand and did a little shopping today. Bought each of the thread types you showed. Something new to try. Thanks Dana.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Awesome, have fun experimenting with them Elizabeth! 🙂

  3. Ann Davison-Hickey
    | Reply

    Hi Dana
    Val Davison here your great Auntie. Great video i watched this in New Zealand at my fantastic rest home Wallingford. To hot to sleep. Sitting in activities area keeping busy My special embroidery is Hardanger from Norwegian craft.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM NZ 🌎😎🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵📯🎺🎵☺📯🎺📯🎺🥁🥁🇦🇺

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Ahahaha hi Auntie Val! I’m sorry it’s too hot to sleep, I hate it when that happens. Hardanger is so pretty, I’ve tried it once and really like how it came out. Most of my customers like the really snarky cheeky patterns so that’s what I design mostly, but I do like other styles of needlework as well. I hope you had a great Christmas, much love to you and the rest of the family! And Happy New Year from Canada right back at you! 🙂 <3

  4. Constance Worth
    | Reply

    Interesting and helpful tutorial and I do have one question…are Sulky threads colorfast? Or do we need to pre-wash them?

  5. Aurelia Eglantine
    | Reply

    Love this! So nice to see the threads stitched up. I’ve never tried Sulky but I have heard of them – and that holographic silver thread is amazing! I really like blackwork too, and the sample you stitched is beautiful 😊

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Haha thanks Aurelia! You should see that whole pattern, the pattern is all the phases of the moon vertically, it’s such a cool pattern. 🙂 And glad the tutorial was helpful! 🙂

  6. Joan
    | Reply

    Great video Dana. Lovin’ the 12 wt cotton, deep colors. I really like the variegated cotton. I have never used that before. I am sure I will like that. Heck, I love variegated yarn, so I will probably like variegated thread. 🙂

    Quick question…I recently pulled out all my cross-stitching things and was organizing my threads. I have had most of my threads for about 10 years. I don’t want to start a project and have “old” threads start to split or fray. Do you advise me to buy all new or do you think the thread I have is still good? It’s all DMC. Thanks ~ Joan

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Hi Joan! 🙂 It depends on the size of your project. For smaller projects you’re likely still good to go, if you do find the floss is too old then yes you can toss it (or use it for other random craft projects). The only thing I’d be careful of is if you need a certain colour for a bigger project and you don’t have enough already, I’d get all new floss in that colour. The reason is the dye lots would be quite different, and the old floss likely wouldn’t exactly match the new floss. So your colours might end up mismatched, which is never fun. 🙂

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