The most commonly used thread types in both commercial and domestic machine embroidery are rayon and polyester. The most common weight of those is 40 weight.
There are also other weights of embroidery thread. You could use a 30 weight for better coverage in larger areas but they shouldn’t be used for fine detail. For fine detail a 50 or even 60 weight is the best. With these numbers it’s easy to remember – the larger the number, the thinner the thread will be.
RAYON is a type of thread that provides a nice sheen, has a higher temperature tolerance, is softer and has less elasticity than polyester. The disadvantages are that it’s not completely colourfast and brakes easily. Also it’s usually dearer than polyester. We stock Madeira Rayon in 200m spools.
POLYESTER is colourfast, does not fade, has great shine, holds up well, even with intensive wear and is resistant to bleach. The disadvantage is it’s not as heat resistant as rayon.
We stock Xuanli, QA and King Star polyester threads.
Embroidery threads (all types) should be stored properly to stitch properly. Try to keep the thread in a consistent environment. Temperature, humidity and direct sunlight can damage the thread.
Another popular type of thread is metallic. It makes almost any design look special, especially when embroidering holiday designs. Some embroiderers are reluctant to use this thread as it might cause some problems when working with it because of its construction. The core of metallic thread is usually nylon with strips of metallic foil wrapped around.
The following are some tips to help you avoid those thread breaks.
- Use good quality thread – with a nylon core and protective coating
- Make sure your design was digitized for metallic thread. If not the holes may be punched too close together to use the metallic thread without having brakes.
- Tension must be as loose as possible without making the tension control stop your machine. Keep the top and bottom tension in the right ratio but both must be very loose. The bobbin should just support itself when held by the thread.
- Bobbin thread should be the thinnest possible
- Use a special needle for metallic thread
- Don’t embroider with metallic thread on hard or stiff material as it is abrasive to the metallic thread.
- The stabilizer should also be soft and pliableWe stock some good quality metallics in the “Threads, Racks and Organisers” category.