threads for making friendship bracelets

by John

I make small friendship bracelet kits for kids. I give them away for free and enjoy the happiness it brings them.

I usually buy embroidery floss by the skein.

Since I make so many at a time, I want to buy the string/thread in bulk. I have ordered from some of the sites online. But, I wondered if some of the common colors, e.g. balck and white, can be bought on a "spool"-- sorry, do not know the correct term.

I have found spools of up to 1 1/2 miles(!) but not sure what the right SIZE would be. I have found smaller lengths/weights. e.g. 10 g of size 5, perle.

To the point: what size is typically the craft thread/floss. 8 or 5? And do the numbers change if the material changes?

And what is the difference between perle, mercerized?

And what exactly do the numbers mean vs 6 strand?

Lastly, when I want to get larger amounts, it seems to shift from length to weight which makes it harder to compare.

Thanks so much!

Carol answers...
John, friendship bracelets are normally made with 6 stranded embroidery floss, which as you mention is often supplied in skeins of around 8 meters.

The major manufacturers, such as DMC and Anchor, do supply this on cones to the trade. I happen to know that the DMC cones hold 100g or 425m of thread, as I use them myself. All the colours in the DMC stranded cotton range are available on cone.

However, (there is always one of those, isn't there?) you would have to open a trading account with the manufacturer to be able to purchase the cones. The minimum first order would be likely to be more than you would want to stock. I cannot give figures as it would vary around the world, and it was quite some time since I opened my own account.

Pearl or perle cottons are different from stranded floss. The floss is divisible where the pearl cotton is not. Pearl cotton comes in a number of different sizes; the larger the number always designates a finer thread. Pearl no. 5 is thicker, for example, than pearl no. 12. The finer pearl cottons could be used for making friendship bracelets but the thicker ones would be too chunky.

I hope this information is helpful to you.



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Can I add to this question?
by: Anonymous

I am also looking to buy black and white by the spool, or even "balls" which I have seen for the pearl cotton. I prefer pearl thread over the floss as floss is divisible by the 6 strands, and can fray. The pearl threads are much more durable, and I think, have a nicer sheen.

My question is what would the right size be?

I have a pearl cotton "craft thread" about the same thickness as embroidery floss. I would like to use the colors I have now with the new black or white that I buy, without any awkward thickness issues. I read on another site 3 or 5 was the size I would want, however I am not sure thats right. As you said, those are much thicker and would probably not work well for bracelets.


bracelet threads
by: John

Thank you. That was VERY helpful!

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