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Embroidery Threads: High Quality vs. High Cost

Embroidery is a fine art and requires the right tools for the trade. As many advanced embroiderers know, and many beginners will learn, embroidery offers an array of threads in varying price points, weights, colors, and elasticity.

Each type of project requires the perfect selection of thread weight, quality, and color in order to make the embroidery look complete and as artistic as possible. When you’re adding a monogram to a sweatshirt or embroidering a design on a bag, you may be tempted to save some money and get a cheaper thread; however, this mistake can be costly in the long-run and isn’t fair to your customers.

Price points and quality are as varied as the type of thread itself; ranging from silk to cotton, each provides a different texture and sheen once it has been stitched into the fabric. Silk, of course, has a unique sheen and appearance once it has been embroidered, but it also needs delicate care when washing. Silk threads are high priced and they are also high maintenance.  In this case, dependent upon your commercial embroidery niche, it may not be the most cost effective for you to select a silk thread.

Cotton Embroidery Thread

On the lower end of the pricing spectrum is cotton thread. While it may be the most cost-effective choice in the immediate, there are several qualities cotton embroidery thread lacks. For starters, the colors of the embroidery thread are not nearly as vibrant and certainly not as shiny as other, higher-quality types of embroidery thread. Cotton also does not have elasticity, meaning it will break if pulled and fades in the sun; making this a less-than-ideal thread for clothing.

Rayon Embroidery Thread

In the middle price point, but still high-quality embroidery threads, you will find rayon and polyester. Rayon has long been the popular choice for embroidery enthusiasts everywhere, offering different weights and a high-sheen when finished. A downside to rayon is that it has a lower elasticity and might need to be stored in a refrigerated space in lower humidity environments to preserve it longer. Similar to rayon, yet with less specialized care and more elasticity, is polyester embroidery thread.

Polyester Embroidery Thread

Polyester tends to offer the best of both worlds—high-quality thread at an affordable price point. Quickly catching up to rayon, polyester embroidery thread is gaining in terms of popularity. Several brands of polyester embroidery threads are made in the United States of America if you’re looking to support the local economy. Polyester has a nice sheen and comes in a variety of vibrant colors to suit every project.

Offering good elasticity, polyester embroidery thread is an excellent choice for embroidered clothing, as it won’t fade or shrink in the washing machine.  Polyester is truly high-quality thread and can give you the most bang for your embroidery-conscious buck.

10 Signs You Should Turn Your Embroidery Hobby into a Business

Overall, the type of thread you choose is ultimately up to you! But the benefits of using a high-quality thread that is fade resistant, shiny, and offers elasticity is hard to beat. Polyester offers high quality at an excellent price; proving that you do not need to pay more for quality embroidery thread.      

Curious about starting an embroidery business? Turn your hobby into a career! Check out our free guide on starting your own embroidery business online!

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