This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Filo Floss, of all embroidery threads, undoubtedly is most beautiful and most satisfactory for fine embroidery. It has a lustre which only unskilful handling will dull. It has also the slightest crimp - hardly perceptible except as it affects the lav of the stitches. Stitches placed closely in this thread hold their surface because of the little wave which dovetails the one with the other - if such a term may be used in a process so slight.
Several difficulties arise in using filo silks, and many who have encountered them are inclined to lay the blame on the silk. The fault lies outside of it, however, and is to be overcome only by experience and practice. In the first place, the objection is made that the thread roughs and catches. This it does because it comes in contact with some rough object. The first precaution against this is to open the skein carefully, cut away the knot that holds the ends, unwind the skein, and rewind it firmly on a card. A 2-inch square card with the corners clipped off and a little slit in one side to hold the end is the best arrangement for keeping the skein in order. It takes an extra minute to do this bit of preliminary work, but that is far less than the time and patience required to unravel a tangled skein, which in its very tangling is damaged and hardly worth the trouble.
The filo strand is made up of six threads, and another way of injuring its quality is to pull out one or two - as it is generally used singly or double - and cut them separately. This operation is really exasperating to an experienced embroiderer who watches a learner at it and hears the plea that to clip all six threads at a time wastes the silk. If only one thread is needed, the others are easily wound on the card again.
Another mistake which harms the silk is that of carrying two threads in the needle instead of one doubled. By threading two, you have at the eye of the needle four. This requires a larger-eyed needle, which parts the woof and warp of the ground material so much that the stitches cannot be laid so closely or evenly. But the greatest objection to this is the two floating ends, which tangle and rough and knot, spoiling the silk, the ground material, and the evenness of the stitches already placed, perhaps bending or breaking the needle, because the patience of the worker is too far gone to allow of anything but pulls and jerks. Always double one thread when you want this weight, or, if you are working heavily, double two or three. If the silk cuts at the eye, this is the fault of the needle; throw it away and find a perfect one.
Another way in which silk is roughened is by-hands that are not in good order for the work. It is essential that an embroiderer's hands should be smooth. It is hopeless to try to use an untwisted silk with rough fingers. A piece of emery board will "finish off" the fingers so that both they and the silk will be comfortable. It is also difficult to work with hands that are too moist. A little alcohol rubbed in will dry them