What is a hank of embroidery thread

by Joyce Lint

I am a beginner at this cross stitch. I am stumped at the very first pass.

What is a hank? There are colors on in the Hank 1 and Hank 2 chart. The other chart is ok because the thread came on the pre-printed coded plastic card. There are black plastic cards. How do I tell what colors they are without a chart? Why is it called "Hank"? What does that mean?

Carol writes....

When you buy a kit the colors of embroidery floss can be supplied in various ways.

In some, each individual color is threaded onto cards with the color number and symbol printed beside each one. This makes it very easy to start stitching straight away, but may cost a little more to purchase in the first place due to the extra time taken to produce the kit.

A quicker way to produce the kit is to put the colors together in hanks, or bundles. From a manufacturers point of view it can take a while to work out which color to put in which hank, but once this is done the kits are much quicker to put together.

Normally, each hank will have one easily distinguishable color in it. perhaps black in one, and white in another. If there is no easily distinguishable color used in the design then you may find that a length of a different fibre, perhaps a tapestry wool, is used to tie the bundles so that each one is identifiable.

Ideally, the rest of the colors in each hank would each contain a different number of lengths. For example.....

2 lengths of light brown
4 lengths of medium brown

...etc. making it obvious which color relates to which thread. If there are two different colors, with the same number of lengths, it can sometimes be tricky to work out which is "fawn" and which is "taupe". Hopefully the kit manufacturer will, in this case, put the two similar colors in different hanks.

It can take some time to sort the threads when you buy a kit put together in this way, especially if there are lots of different hanks. The advantage to the stitcher may be that the kit was cheaper to buy in the first place.

I hope this helps.


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Anonymous colours
by: Carol

You asked... How do you find a Hank color when you run out? Where can you buy more colors?

This would depend on the manufacturer of the kit to a large extent. Some designers do not include the color number or name of the threads they have put in the kit, making it difficult to purchase more. I always take care to include the manufacturer's name and color number so it is easy to buy more if necessary.

If you do run out then it is a case of trying to find a match on different colour charts which can prove tricky.

Figuring out hank colors
by: Anonymous

Pull out the colors you do know first to break down the options. As already said, charts tell you how many strands you will have. You can google "what color is tawny" for example & it will show you the color. I had to do that with tawny & managing because I had no idea what colors they were. It was very clear. I did specified light or dark too when I needed to.

How do you find a Hank color when you run out
by: Anonymous

How do you find a Hank color when you run out? Where can you buy more colors?

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