Embroidery Threads - Machine Embroidery Thread

With so much to choose from, how do you select the right embroidery thread or yarn for your project? The choices can be intimidating.

Embroidery Machine

Stand in front of a selection of embroidery thread at any craft store and you will feel like a kid in a candy store. There is so much to choose from that you don't know where to look first. Most of us, however, tend to reach for the same embroidery threads we always use. But the truth is that experimenting with threads can greatly expand your color and texture palette. New embroidery thread can add new life to your designs.

Whether you do free-hand embroidery or use an embroidery machine here is a quick look at the threads available to you and a few tips on how to use them successfully.

Embroidery Thread

Types of embroidery threads

Rayon embroidery thread is the most popular choice for most embroiders because of its lovely high sheen, availability, and consistent performance. Rayon thread holds up well with high-speed stitching without breaking or fraying. Stores carry it in a wide range of solid and variegated colors, as well as in a "twist" thread composed of two or more solid colors twisted together to form a single strand. They are available in a standard 40 wt. and a thicker 30 wt. When it comes to embroidery thread size, the higher the number the finer the thread.

Polyester embroidery thread is the popular and economical choice. It is available in a wide assortment of colors, and your results will be similar to that of rayon. The benefit of polyester is that it won't shrink, fade, or bleed. Like rayon thread, polyester thread is strong and won't easily break or fray.

Cotton embroidery thread is very often overlooked by automatic embroidery machine users. But the fact is that it performs beautifully in embroidery machines and has a lovely, soft sheen. Additionally, cotton thread is available in weights up to the very fine 100.

Silk thread absorbs dye more brilliantly than any other fiber, and is truly the top of the line when it comes to specialty threads. It sews smoothly without breaking, and offers the embroider the strength of polyester and the stability of cotton. It also has a distinct sheen unmatched by any other thread. Silk threads are available in a variety of sizes and colors, but the 30 to 50 wts. are appropriate for machine embroidery. Silk thread is more costly, but well worth considering.

What about embroidery yarn?

Heavier than embroidery thread, embroidery yarn is quiet versatile. It is used for weaving, crocheting, both hand and machine knitting, as well as for needlepoint, embroidery, and other types of stitchery. Embroidery yarn is available in the wide assortment of colors and materials embroidery thread is. When it comes time to shop for your embroidery supplies, be sure to try something new. You will be pleasantly surprised.


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