I got asked by one of my students recently about storing threads. Here’s what I told her.
There are pretty much two approaches to storing threads & which you use depends on how you think about threads. You can store it by color or by texture. Which you choose depends on which one of these you think about first.
I think about the thread’s texture first, so I store my threads by texture by individual brands of thread. For threads where I have lots, I divide them by color (warm, cold, and neutral).
My stash is huge and so I store it mostly in a very large card catalog chunk, pictured below. But that’s relatively new. It’s a great solution if you have space and strong folks to move it for you. Before that, I used two 12-drawer card catalog chunks and a variety of other small sets of drawers and boxes.
I tend to use things I have around. i’m very fond of quirky storage and like to reuse what i have.
I have a friend who stores everything in plastic boxes from The Container Store. This seems to be pretty common because it’s uniform and you can see what’s in the boxes. She likes them because they are a perfect size for Rainbow Gallery cards.
Another good option is to use those photo storage boxes. I like them because they are cheap & I like the different patterns. I store my Kreinik by color in a box with a dozen smaller boxes in it made to store scrapbook stuff. I bought mine at Michael’s. They come on translucent and with colored small boxes, below.
If you store by color, use one or more bins per color.
In terms of threads to keep in stock, I generally keep the following:
— gold or silver in my favorite shades from Kreinik
— gold & silver in Soft Sheen Fyre Werks
— flesh color Splendor assortment (for when I stitch people)
— whites & creams in several threads for backgrounds
— several different shades & threads in greens
— threads in my favorite colors
— black pearl in 5 & 8 and black floss of some kind
My thinking is this. Flesh in the assortment can go a long way to finishing canvases with people. Black is often used only in small amounts, so having some on hand is good. Many canvases have green so having a nice assortment allows you to add variety in doing this. The whites & creams allow you to add backgrounds to canvases. Having a stock of your favorite colors lets you do quick geometric or charted pieces that you know you will like.
Additional threads you might want really depend on what you stitch. For example, if you stitch lots of landscapes, you might want to have a stock of sky colors. Since we both do SF canvases, Golden Gate Bridge colors would be good.
The whole idea behind a stockpile of threads is to have threads on hand that will allow you to finish projects or give your own look to them.