Tips on adding metallic threads and beads to cross stitch

Metallic Threads

Stitching with metallic threads can be more difficult than with normal stranded cottons.  But these handy hints,make the process easier.

  • Try to leave any metallic thread cross-stitches till the last.
  • Depending on your thread you choose to use, it may require anywhere between 1 and 3 strands in your length, to give proper coverage.
  • Sometimes it can work better to use one thread plain, with one thread metallic.
  • To stop the metallic thread fraying, use smaller lengths of metallic thread.
  • Try using a needle with a large hole.
  • Use this handy hint – Instead of passing the end of your thread through your needle, pass through a turned over loop, then whilst it is poking through the hole, pass the tip of the needle through the loop and ease the knot down into the eye of the needle.  What this does is stop the thread moving back and forth through the hole and causing it to fray.


The addition of beads on your cross-stitch design, can add that special other dimension, as it shimmers and catches the light.  Stitching a bead on can be done in a few different ways, depending on whether your design has large areas of beads or just highlights.  I use a plain cross-stitch to attach my beads.  Using a single thread I pass the needle through the bead each time I complete a diagonal stitch.  This makes the bead sit square on the design.

If you were to have a lot of beads in one area, depending on your Aida count, too many beads would jostle with each other for space, this is when it is good to use this second technique.  Bringing the Needle up on the Top Left hole of the square, pass it through the bead and down into the Bottom Right hole.  The beads will sit at a diagonal angle,but will nestle in behind each other well, when you have large groupings of beads.

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