Embroidery thread is one of the most commonly used materials in making friendship bracelets. While other materials can be used, embroidery thread is usually the most preferred material because of its durability, the brightness and variety of colors that it comes in, and the ease with which it can be used to make and maintain knots.
Friendship bracelets are one of the first crafts that kids make, and nearly every American child has made one. Designs can range from just a few strands of thread knotted together once that can be made in seconds to intricate and complicated designs that take days to make. There are thousands of designs, and new ones are invented all the time.
Why Use Embroidery Thread?
Embroidery thread is a preferred crafting material for friendship bracelets for several reasons.
Related: 18 Different Types of Thread
Embroidery thread can be found in nearly every craft store, as well as most big box stores that have a craft section. The thread is usually sold in skeins of about six feet, giving enough material to make anywhere from three to six bracelets. Each skein usually costs less than a dollar.
If you’re interested in making a lot of bracelets, you may want to consider buying a variety pack of colors. While you won’t get to pick each color, variety packs are usually a lot cheaper.
There are hundreds of colors of embroidery thread, but most big box stores tend to only carry a few dozen colors. If you are interested in a very specific color, you may want to visit a sewing supply store or visit the website for your favorite brand of embroidery thread to look at their color chart. Each color will correspond to a unique code number that you can use to order the exact color you want to buy.
You may also want to look out for specialty colors and color blends. Specialty colors tend to only be produced periodically; usually around major holidays. There are also companies that produce specialty colors and blends; that is, embroidery thread that is made up of several different colored strands.
You might also want to look for unique colors such as threads that are blended with metallic thread and omber dyes.
Embroidery thread is designed to be fairly tough and have color that won’t bleed over onto fabric or other materials when wet. Embroidery thread is made of six separate strands of thread, giving it more strength than most types of sewing thread.
Ease of Use
The strength of embroidery thread combined with it’s relative roughness means that it is capable of holding the knots that are put into it while resisting tangling. The thread can be easily worked with to create intricate patterns.
What Other Materials Can be Used?
Many materials other than embroidery thread have been used to make friendship bracelets. Each of these materials have advantages and disadvantages, however.
Yarn comes in large skeins which can often give a crafter way too much material for just a few friendship bracelets. In order to use multiple colors, this means that you will need to buy and store several large skeins, which can become pricey. Yarn comes in many varieties, be sure to choose a type that is soft enough to not make a scratchy bracelet, but also durable enough to not fall apart.
String does not come in a great variety of colors, but it is dyeable. Dying is an extra messy step, however, making string a much less popular method of making friendship bracelets. Certain types of string may also become easily tangled.
Thread is often too thin to make a friendship bracelet that anyone could see. It is possible to twist several strands of thread together into a thicker thread that can be used for friendship bracelets, but this is a very time-consuming step and the thread tends to become very easily tangled.
Very simple friendship bracelets can be made from natural materials such s hemp or pine straw. While color choices are rather limited, these are often the first type of friendship bracelets that many children make. These bracelets do not last very long, however.
How to Use Embroidery Thread?
To make a simple friendship bracelet with embroidery thread, start by selecting about three to five different colors. Snip about 18 inches of each color, and knot them all together at one end of the thread. Clip the knot to a clipboard or other heavy clip, and separate the strands.
Picking up the strand on the far left, use it to make a knot, grouping the other strands together. Doing this will move the strand to the far right. Pick up the next strand on the far left and repeat the process.