Over at Needlework Tips & Techniques, there is a wonderful page of information about embroidery floss.
It is designed for Cross Stitchers, but there’s lots of advice that works for needlepointers too.
There is a video on how to separate plies. This works for any stranded thread.
There is information about several ways to start your thread, including a loop method, which is worth trying for needlepoint.
Do not, however, use the table of number of plies; they are not correct for needlepoint. Instead, use these amounts:
Congress Cloth: 2 strands
18 mesh: 4 strands
14 mesh: 6 strands
13 mesh: 6 strands
12 mesh: 8 strands
Also remember that these techniques and amounts. work for any stranded thread, such as stranded silks, where the individual strands are about the same size as floss.
Thanks and a tip of the hat to Denise at Craft Gossip, for letting us know about this resource.