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If you’re an embroidery beginner or you’re looking to upgrade your stitching skills, knowing how to condition and strip your embroidery floss is a great way to make sure you get the best results on your next project.

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Using a thread conditioner to condition your floss before using it adds an extra protective layer to your floss or thread and reduces friction when you’re stitching, preventing tangles and making it easier to move the floss/thread through fabric. Some thread conditioners can even protect against fading and deterioration as your project ages!

In this super-helpful post, Jenny from Sublime Stitching will walk you through the process of conditioning your floss. Then, as an added bonus, she’ll show you her quick trick for stripping floss—separating it into individual strands—for custom detail work and personalized stitch bulk and thickness.

If you’ve never heard of floss conditioning before, you’re definitely not alone. It’s one of those steps that’s often skipped by new stitchers, but it’s certainly a good idea if you’re working on a decor piece, with fabric that’s difficult to sew through, or on a project that isn’t going to be laundered. (This kind of thread prep isn’t new idea. If your grandma was into quilting or embroidery, you might remember a block of beeswax in her sewing basket—that was for thread conditioning.) Because, how will future generations marvel at your beautifully embroidered expletives if your floss has long since deteriorated?!