The Ito Ito no Mi provides the user the ability to manipulate people with strings by attaching them to their spines, similar to puppetry. Offensively, the strings can be used to cut through matter such as body parts or weapons. The strings can also be used to connect to clouds, thus providing aerial transportation. The maximum length of these strings is unknown, but is long enough to reach from Green Bit to Dressrosa, as well as connect to the clouds. The strings can be compressed in bundles for various constructions.
The strength of these strings is such that the victims are unable to resist Doflamingo hijacking their mobility, while sharp enough to cut through the flesh and bones of Little Oars Jr. and firearms with ease. Every one of his victims being controlled was unable to resist his powers and therefore was rendered completely helpless. This ability is even powerful enough to stop the physically strong "Diamond" Jozu in his tracks, preventing him from further attacking Crocodile; not even one of Issho's meteors can penetrate it.
As stated by Law, one of this ability's weaknesses is that if there are no clouds in the sky, Doflamingo has nothing to attach his threads to, which in turn prevents him from being able to travel in mid-air.  Also the strings alone are only sharp enough to deeply lacerate the skin and flesh, unless they are pulled together into a rope or if used in a sawing motion. Besides that, the user is still affected by the standard Devil Fruit weaknesses.
Doflamingo usually bends his fingers to move his strings as he pleases for either manipulating people like puppets or to bifurcate his targets. The strings appear to be extremely thin or may even be invisible, making it almost impossible to notice and avoid them. He has shown himself capable of controlling more than one person at the same time without apparent effort.
He can make his victims move to his will by moving his fingers accordingly. Doflamingo mainly uses this power to force comrades to fight (and even kill) each other, while Doflamingo himself sits at the sidelines and watches. It is currently unknown what the limitations of his abilities are.
The strings can also be used for cutting, in a way similar to piano wire, allowing Doflamingo to effortlessly slice off body parts and destroy weapons. He managed to cleanly sever Little Oars Jr.'s right leg in one swift motion and decapitated Crocodile, though Crocodile's powers only made this a nuisance, due to them not being imbued with Busoshoku Haki; this does not mean Doflamingo cannot, as he brutally injured Smoker by combining his Haki with his strings. When Issho brought down a meteorite on Green Bit, he crossed his strings to form a net, and sliced the meteorite into small pieces to protect himself from harm. He can also compress the strings to create a giant whip or even a perfect clone of himself, capable of fighting alongside him, moving its mouth and transmitting his voice to appear to be talking, and unraveling for his ultimate technique.
Goshikito (五色糸（ゴシキート）,Goshikīto?, literally meaning "Five Color Strings"): Doflamingo slashes his target with five strings coming out from his fingers. In the anime the strings appear to be merely a spider web white color, but a shimmering of colors within each string can be seen. It was first clearly shown being used against the G-5 Marines on Punk Hazard and named while he was using it against Sanji. In the Viz Manga, it is called Penta-Chromatic String.
Overheat (超過鞭糸（オーバーヒート）,Ōbāhīto?, literally meaning "Excess Whip String"): Doflamingo shoots a thick rope made of strings from his palm and whips it at the target. Overheat's range can go from the sky of Green Bit all the way to Dressrosa, a distance of many kilometers, and is strong enough to cut through a building at that range. It was first seen being used in his fight against Sanji in an attempt to finish him off. The anime has an added effect of the whip exuding high amounts of heat, causing it to glow a fiery orange and steaming. In the FUNimation subs, the first time it was used they called it Overheat, but the second time (in the same episode) it was subbed as Excess Whip String.
Tamaito (弾糸（タマイト）,Tamaito?, literally meaning "Bullet String"): Doflamingo points at his opponent with his index finger and fires a string from it, as if he were firing a gun. It was first seen being used in the fight against Law on the iron bridge. It was used earlier in the anime when Doflamingo was chasing Law on Green Bit. The attack's power and effect are similar to Shigan, but it has the advantage of the longer range of a normal gun.
Fulbright (降無頼糸（フルブライト）,Furuburaito?, literally meaning "Falling Villainous String"): Doflamingo creates five detached strings from his hand and throws them downwards to impale his target from above. This attack was first used against Trafalgar Law in their second encounter at Dressrosa's royal palace.  In the anime, a similar unnamed attack was used against Trafalgar Law during the battle at the bridge.
Itonoko (糸ノコ,Itonoko?, literally meaning "Fretsaw"): Doflamingo creates a string from the heel of his foot and attaches the other end to his leg. Holding the opponent down with his arms, he then uses the taut string as a saw to sever the opponent's limb. This was first seen used to cut off Law's right arm, and named by Trebol. This attack gets its name from the real world cutting tool called the fretsaw, which consists of a metal frame and a thin blade held under tension.
Parasite (寄生糸（パラサイト）,Parasaito?, literally meaning "Parasite String"): Doflamingo attaches his strings onto his opponents and manipulates their movements like puppets. This was first seen used to force Vice AdmiralMozambia to attack Vice Admiral Stainless. The strings used are so thin they seem invisible, and are so strong they can completely disable the likes of Jozu and Sanji, even keeping his victims trapped floating in midair, and none of his shown victims were able to resist at all. Furthermore, this technique can be enhanced when used in combination with the Birdcage technique, the strings can spread all across the entirety of Dressrosa and control multiple people across the island at the same time without any apparent strain on Doflamingo at all. The string seems to attach to the targets spine at the base of the neck. As such, the controlled can still control their head, but everything below the neck is manipulated by Doflamingo, as seen when the controlled are still able to talk and make their own facial expressions, which contradicts their own actions. The technique's name was revealed in the flashback during Doflamingo's takeover of Dressrosa ten years ago, when he demonstrated the ability to take control of King Riku and many of his soldiers at the same time, and from far away. Though Doflamingo is commonly seen moving his fingers, in a similar manner to how a puppeteer manipulates a marionette, whilst controlling the target(s), it doesn't seem to be compulsory, as shown when he did mass control over several people in Dressrosa. This attack was incorrectly named Marionette (マリオネット,Marionetto?) in One Py Berry Match.
Sora no Michi (空の道,Sora no Michi?, literally meaning "Sky Road"): Doflamingo attaches his strings to clouds, allowing him to move through the air. He was first seen using the technique to travel from Dressrosa to Punk Hazard, but there were not enough clouds for him to be able to complete the journey. When Doflamingo was attacking the Straw Hats and Law at Green Bit, Law instructed the Straw Hats to sail along a route without any clouds, as doing so would prevent Doflamingo from pursuing them.
Black Knight (影騎糸（ブラックナイト）,Burakku Naito?, literally meaning "Shadow Knight String"): Doflamingo forms a clone of himself, made entirely out of string. Doflamingo can then manipulate the clone with other strings. The technique was used to survive Kyros' attempted decapitation, and Viola remarked that she had never seen it before herself, suggesting it is rarely used given her ability to see everything going on in the country. Doflamingo has shown great skill in manipulating his clone to orchestrate combined attacks with his real body, such as a double Goshikito. Apparently, even a single clone is very strong, able to simply swat a Jet Pistol from Luffy. Viola called it Marionette (操り人形（マリオネット）,Marionetto?), while Law similarly referred to it as a "string puppet". Trebol referred to it as Ito Joker (糸ジョーカー,Ito Jōkā?, literally meaning "String Joker") when he asked Doflamingo where it had flown off to, after one of them confronted Luffy and Law. It was formally named when Doflamingo created a clone in his battle against Law and Luffy.
Torikago (鳥カゴ,Torikago?, literally meaning "Birdcage"): Doflamingo's ultimate technique. Doflamingo exudes a massive amount of string from the center of his palm, which then spreads into the sky. The strings then spread and cover a large area, creating a massive razor-sharp wire domed force-field, slicing anyone who tries to pass through it and severs the signals of the Den Den Mushi to the outside world. The bars are incredibly strong, with even a meteorite being unable to destroy it. The strings would then spread into the cage's confines, attaching to the victims within, allowing Doflamingo to use his Parasite technique at a mass scale, forcing them to kill each other. This technique was Doflamingo's last resort in the event that Sugar fainted and the citizens rebel, so that he could kill everyone so no one would reveal the country's dark secret. He was also seen to use this technique eleven years before the main storyline began, to prevent his brother from escaping with the Ope Ope no Mi, not knowing that Law had already eaten it. When used during the Dressrosa arc, instead of using string from his hand he used the string from his string clone to create the Torikago.
Kumo no Sugaki (蜘蛛の巣がき,Kumo no Sugaki?, literally meaning "Spider's Web"): A defensive technique. As the name implies, Doflamingo creates a huge web made of string that protects him from incoming projectiles. This was first used to block a massive piece of the Dressrosa Royal Palace, thrown at him by Law's powers. When Issho brought down a meteor, Doflamingo used a similar technique by crossing his two Goshikito together to form a net-formation, though smaller in comparison, and unlike Kumo no Sugaki, can slice through matter.
Out of all of the Devil Fruits named in the series so far, this fruit has had the longest gap between its first demonstration and when it was named, spanning 490 chapters (and 504 episodes) and more than eleven years.
Several of the named techniques are puns, ending with ito (string) in the Japanese pronunciation.
The abilities of the fruit are very similar to the string clouds that Shura uses in his Ordeal of String as they are invisible and can stop people from moving. Also, the "Birdcage" is very similar to the Ordeal of Iron used by Ohm, another of Enel's Warriors, as both moves consist of trapping people inside a dome-shaped cage of sharp material.