Cotton Thread can be lots more than just embroidery floss and pearl cotton. In this post from Mary Corbet’s Needle n’Thread blog she explains several kinds of cotton thread commonly used for embroidery.
One of my favorite things in the article is the comparison of the sizes of thread in floss and pearl.
Because Mary does embroidery on cloth she doesn’t talk about several threads we use commonly in needlepoint. There’s not much about hand-dyed and overdyed threads, although this might be outside the scope of the article.
More importantly she doesn’t talk about DMC’s Matte Cotton. This thread has only recently become available again in the US. It is soft, like a T shirt that’s been washed often. It is also completely matte. A thick, single-strand thread, it’s perfect as is on 13-mesh canvas. The general thought is that this thread cannot be separated.The 8 two-ply strands can be divided, however. You need to take care because the thread is so soft.
This is probably the most common thread left out of Mary’s post, but there are many other neat cotton threads out there, including some that are knitting yarns, that are worthy of use in needlepoint.