My thoughts on Embroidery thread

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Caryl Anne Posted: Fri, Dec 7 2012 6:10 PM

I have been asked my thoughts on embroidery threads, pros and cons on brands I have worked with. As you know there are many brand names to choose from, some are quite expensive. Personally, I've NOT found the price to reflex the design sewn out.
In the world of thread, there is only a hand full of manufacturers; brand names are too many to count. Machine embroidery threads are Rayon or Polyester, some blends may be available, I do not think I own a mixed content.
A 40 wt. thread is recommended for most ME work. There are other weights 35wt and 50 wt. The higher the # the thinner the threads. I have found the 50wt threads do NOT perform on my high speed (800spm) Janome 10001. Breakage is at the highest with this thin thread. I use 35 wt. for areas that show off the outline stitching and one color stitch designs i.e. red work or vintage outline designs such a this photo.
Bobbin threads are as important as top threads. A 60wt. thread, recommended by our machine manufacturers, should be used. There are times when a matching thread, 40wt. are used, as in lace, and satin stitch for appliqué.
When I started ME in 2005, I looked for threads that were inexpensive; I bought several groups of thread from online eBay; as well as single colors from JoAnn’s.  I lucked into a great find a package of threads that were not new, being sold by a crafter. & great buys from several thread sellers, groups of 10 colors in collections, Embroidex names like spring, summer, fall etc. & those are always available from eBay sellers.
I was not very knowledgeable at first and made some mistakes, costly in the purchase of India 50wt threads; again, it is too thin for our fast machines.
For most embroidery I prefer a polyester thread, they have a nice finish and can be laundered without color loss. Rayon have more sheen, and are color fast to a point, but I only use this when a particular design calls for it, or I am making a wall hanger, banner or picture that will not require laundering.
 I own a treasure chest that never gets used. I don’t like the small spools and I do have breakage in these threads, just my machine? Who knows?  Over the years I have bought  C&C threads when there is a sale at Joann, a year or so ago I started buying from my Janome dealer, his threads are the same price as their sale, every day; exquisite and poly 40+.  I have replaced 30+ spools and I like the thread. Sulky thread is my top-stitching choice in fashion sewing and you see I own the 40wt. rayon for ME as well.
With threads, I should add my preference in needles; I use only #11 & #14 EMBROIDERY needles. Reason being the needle is made for the 35 and 40wt. threads. In a pinch use a top stitching needle, be aware the eye is different, longer, because top stitches are going through many layers of fabric.
I hope that others will voice their opinions as well; all the information we can get out to the new enthusiast can help save them time and money on this fun hobby or creative work.

 


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Donna B replied on Sat, Dec 8 2012 11:42 AM

Thanks Caryl Anne for starting this thread!  You did an amazing job and so thorough too!!!  I hope this will be the start for a lot of us to post our favorite threads (and needles) and to share our experiences with different threads and needles while machine embroidering (ME).

I am definitely a home embroiderer with my pieces used primarily for myself, friends and family. (I have been ME since 2003.) That being said, I have three (personal) thoughts I would like to share:

1) I use 60 wt bobbin thread (BottomLine) in off-white or grey whenever the back of the piece will not be visible.  When the back is visible, I use the same thread in the bobbin that I do in the needle (usually a 40 wt Poly).

2)  I always use embroidery needles for ME (75/11 or 90/14...usually 75/11's).  But, in addition, I definitely prefer to use Titanium embroidery needles.  They cost about twice as much, but I have found they last about four times as long.  They really keep their sharpness!  (I use Organ Titanium needles, but haven't tried other brands.)

3)  I have learned an important lesson over the last few years about trying new threads that I would like to share.   I have become aware that specific machines (even within Brand and Model) can be picky about thread. I have a friend who has the exact same brand/model of machine that I have, that does not have good luck using the Isacord thread - that works very well for me. Also, about two years ago, after a friend recommended a different type of ME thread (which happened to be on sale), I bought about $100 worth only to find that my machine does not like it...period.  Money NOT well spent!!!  MY LESSON:  When trying new threads, buy  just a few spools for a trial run.  Then, if you (and your machine) like it, buy more...hopefully on sale!!!

As I said earlier, I use Isacord 40wt Poly predominantly for ME (which I buy on the internet to get the best price) but would like to hear what others are using and are having good success with. 

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Donna B replied on Sat, Dec 8 2012 9:50 PM

Donna B:

As I said earlier, I use Isacord 40wt Poly predominantly for ME (which I buy on the internet to get the best price) but would like to hear what others are using and are having good success with. 

 

I forgot to mention that the 100 m "mini-spools" are not for me...lol!  Personally, I am not interested in buying any spools smaller than 1000 meters so I guess that does limit my thread choices somewhat.

 Winthrop, WA

 

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