How to choose the best machine embroidery thread for your projects?
Always use quality Embroidery Threads. These threads are designed to produce
professional quality embroidery results, and come in huge variety of colors and fibers.
Some embroidery threads have a reputation for being difficult to work with, but most
likely a few slight adjustments can reduce the breakage problems.
The three parameters that can effect breakerage level are thread tension, bobbin fillament thread & needle. We would recommend using Prewound Bobbins of lighter weight than the needle thread, and similar fiber content. Prewound Bobbins should be as fine as possible, but at least 60 or 70 wt. Fine bobbin thread allows less build up on the back of the embroidery and the machine will proceed more easily. There are several lightweight bobbin threads specifically designed for machine embroidery, mostly made from polyester. About needles - they may vary from case to case. Please click here to read more about needles-->>
Don’t be tempted to use regular sewing thread for embroidery projects, thinking it is cheaper. Not only the results will be different (in most cases much worse), but eventually you will get your embroidery machine very "SICK".
You may obtain absolutely different effects by taking advantage of thread weight. Embroidery threads come in variety of weights from 30-weight rayon to 120-weight cotton. The rule here is: the higher the number - the finer the thread. If you would like to achieve 3-d effect and/or better fabric coverage, try using lower # of thread, and the opposite.
Different thread fibers, like cotton and rayon , may have different thickness in the same weight. For instance, 40-weight cotton usually looks thicker than 40-weight rayon. The same is with polyester thread - since polyester thread is more elastic than rayon, it often appears thicker when stitched (but yet thinner than cotton). However, similar weight and material thread may also slightly vary from brand to brand.
Let's take a look at different characteristics of most frequently used embroidery thread fibers:
Rayon machine embroidery thread is the most popular choice among embroiderers because of it's appealing high sheen, widespread availability, consistent trouble-free performance and holding up to high-speed stitching without breaking or fraying. Rayon thread can be found in 40 & 30 wt., as well as in a wide range of solid, variegated and "twist" colors. The "twist" thread is composed of two or more solid colors twisted together to form a single strand, which adds automatic shading and dimension to embroidery designs.
Polyester machine embroidery thread has a sheen almost comparable to rayon (just a little less shiny) and comes in plenty of colors. Polyester thread is usually a little cheaper than rayon because of it's synthetic origin. They are colorfast, extraordinary durable and have high resistance to Chlorine and Bleach, which makes them the ideal thread for embroidering childrenswear, workwear, hotel and catering items, sportswear and any items that will be frequently and/or heavily washed. It won't shrink, fade or bleed.
Cotton thread receives high marks for stitching performance and it's lovely soft sheen.
Also, cotton is available in most wide range of weights - from 30 to 120 wt. (120 wt. is considered heirloom quality), although the 30 to 50 weights are the most popular for their strength and sufficient fabric coverage. With cotton you may achieve subtle shading between colors within a color family, which may be extremely important when stitching complex designs with light and shade effects. The softer qualities of cotton thread are perfect for machine cross stitch. If you want your designs to look much like hand stitched cross stitch, it's better to stitch them with cotton thread.
Metallic thread & glittery mylar thread is considered to be the most whimsical, but it's a popular choice for adding sparkling accents to embroidery designs. They are available in a wide range of colors as well as holographic hues, which pick up light and color from surrounding objects and add spectacular luminous accents to machine
embroidery. Some might perform better than others on your machine, so don't be afraid to experiment to find the ones that are the most trouble-free for you. You will find they’re well worth using. Sometimes they tend to break with high-speed sewing, so you may need to adjust the thread tension and use specialty needles for these types of thread.
Silk thread is strong and stable with an unmatched noble sheen. It's the best choice when embroidering on silk and other luxurious fabrics. Silk truly is the aristocrat of specialty threads, however it's more costly and hard to find. It combines the strength (but not abrasiveness) of polyester, the stability of cotton and sews smoothly without breaking. Silk threads are available in a wide range of sizes, but the 30 to 50 wts. are the most appropriate for machine embroidery.