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Can You Crochet with Embroidery Floss?

If you have embroidery floss in your collection of art supplies, you may have looked at it one day and wondered if you could crochet with it. Is it possible to go outside the norm of crocheting with yarn and crochet with embroidery floss instead?

Yes, you can crochet with embroidery floss, but keep the downsides in mind. Embroidery floss can split easily and be hard to work with. It should also be used gently so that it doesn’t break. Even though embroidery floss can be used for crochet, I suggest using crochet thread instead.

For my own projects, I tend to use embroidery floss for small parts. For example, I crocheted with black embroidery floss for the seal’s nose and mouth in the example below. Isn’t he cute?! I know the mouth is a little off center, but it gives him character 🙂

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I got the pattern from the Aquatic Amigurumi book.

aquatic amigurumi crochet book

That said, whenever I get to a part of my project where I want to use embroidery floss, I take a deep breath and power through.

Crocheting with embroidery floss isn’t something I enjoy. Why? Well, let’s talk about it.

crocheting with embroidery floss2

Be Careful Not to Break Your Embroidery Floss

Embroidery floss is called embroidery floss for a reason. It’s meant for embroidery, which is a very different art form than crochet.

If you decide to use embroidery floss for your crochet project, be careful that you don’t break it. Crocheting requires more jabbing and pulling than embroidery does. 

Putting your embroidery floss through more strain than its used to can be rough on it. So, be gentle. It’s awful to have your floss break on you in the middle of a project.

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Embroidery Floss Can Split Easily

Embroidery floss is not a cohesive unit. In fact, it’s composed of 6 strands of embroidery thread twisted together.

split pink embroidery floss
Embroidery floss

This is very different from yarn, which is designed as a single unit. Yes, there are times I accidentally drive my hook through my yarn and accidentally split it, but it’s not a common occurrence.

Yarn is designed to be used as a whole. 

In embroidery though, it’s common to split embroidery floss into individual threads in order to achieve different thicknesses of embroidery stitches. 

The fact that embroidery floss is naturally splittable means that we need to be on the lookout for that if we crochet with it. 

Be aware if the floss starts unraveling, or if you ever drive your hook through a few strands instead of the entire floss.

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Embroidery Floss Can Be Hard to Move Your Hook Through

Honestly, this is my least favorite thing about using embroidery floss for my crochet projects. I find it really challenging to maneuver my hook through my stitches when using embroidery floss.

I’m constantly losing stitches and unable to get my hook through the stitches I already have. And, don’t even get me started on how hard it is to see the embroidery floss stitches so I can count them and actually crochet with them.

Deep breaths. 

When crocheting with embroidery floss, I generally use a small hook so that I can achieve the size and tightness I’m looking for. The result is cute, but the process makes me feel like I have giant bumbling hands that struggle to form each stitch.

If you choose to use embroidery floss for your crochet project, be prepared for it to be more challenging to work with than yarn. 

This is why I use embroidery floss for small parts of my crochet projects instead of making entire projects out of it.

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Embroidery Floss Has a Different Look and Feel Than Yarn

There’s no doubt that embroidery floss and yarn are different. Looking at them and feeling them, you can tell that.

What’s important to consider is how the differences in look and feel will manifest in your crochet projects. 

Embroidery floss tends to be shinier, thinner, and not as soft as yarn, which will give your project a very different look and feel than if you had used yarn.

split pink embroidery floss and blue yarn
Embroidery floss vs. yarn

This is another reason why I tend to use embroidery floss only for small parts of my projects and not the entire thing.

Experiment with Crocheting with Embroidery Floss

If you’ve never crocheted with embroidery floss before, do a test run before diving into a project.

Make a sample swatch and see how it feels. Are you ok with maneuvering the embroidery floss with your hook? Do you like the way that it looks? What challenges do you run into?

If you’re planning on making a project that requires a magic circle or other common amigurumi techniques, try those out as well during this test run.

It’s important to get a feel for crocheting with embroidery floss before committing to it for your next project. It can feel and function so differently than working with yarn that it’s important to get comfortable with it first.

Consider Crochet Thread Instead

If you don’t like crocheting with embroidery thread, or simply want an alternative, consider crochet thread. 

Crochet thread is a thin type of yarn that’s specifically designed for crocheting. Depending on your project’s needs, this might be a good option to check out. 

It comes in different sizes, so choose the size that works the best for you.

Luckily, crochet thread tends to be a common product that you can find at your local craft store or online.

Crocheting with embroidery thread is possible, but not always ideal. If you do decide to crochet with it, understand the potential downsides before diving into it.

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