How do you organise your embroidery floss?

I have to confess my embroidery threads are not well organised.  I inherited a lot of them from my mother, and I simply sorted each colour into a small ziploc bag.  I did buy an organizer box with a supply of card bobbins, but I used the box to organise my sewing machine feet instead!

Why does embroidery floss come in those annoying skeins anyway?  Why don’t they come wrapped around a card like darning thread?  It was so much easier to pull off what you needed and leave the rest on the card.  

Then there’s the all important identifying number for when you want more of the same. Except when you have lost the little sleeve, usually because you can’t pull any more thread out without removing the wrapper, and end up with a pile of little wrappers with no clue where they belong.

New Tail close upAnyway, now I am doing more embroidery my collection was beginning to get messy, with new and used thread all mixed up together, and I decided to have another go at organising myself.  My solution was to file them!

DSCN2482Take a file – this ring binder is only just thick enough, I might have to find a lever arch one instead if I add much more.

DSCN2487Add a set of file dividers.  Mine was a set of 5 in yellow, green, blue, pink and red.  I made my own for brown and one in white (for black, white and grey).  Above you can see my first section which is brown and includes beige, cream etc.  On the left, unused skeins; on the right are loose threads and bobbins. Those neatly tied skeins were in my mother’s collection.

 

DSCN2485I used clear punched pockets to hold my intact skeins, which still have their numbers.  In some cases I have split the colours, so here I have ‘yellow’ greens and ‘blue’ greens.  They may need sub dividing into ‘light’ and ‘dark’ too.

pocketsThen I used a trading card album page to hold the loose threads, and the ones I have got around to putting on a bobbin (and in some cases actually remembered to write the number on!).  It’s easy to pop a length of floss straight in to an empty pocket when I tidy up, and I will really try to add the number wrapper in future, so it is kept together. 

I had a supply of card floss bobbins so I can write their i.d. number on (when I still have it).  I believe you can buy plastic ones but I assume you can’t write on them.  When I run out I will download Jane’s Doggie ones!

It still needs some work, but it keeps all the colours sorted, and keeps loose threads from tangling with others!

How do you sort yours?