Better Than Rumpelstiltskin: A Guide to the Finest Embroidery Threads
Maybe the magical creature can spin straw into gold, but that doesn’t mean his thread can stand up to the pressures needed for modern day machine embroidery. Here is our guide to the most common embroidery threads and which one will be best for your project!
The Finest Embroidery Threads for Your Project
This is the thread you will come across most often because of its consistency and strength, especially when it comes to high-speed stitching. With rich colors and a good sheen, you can’t go wrong with rayon for your embroidery projects. You will pay a little more for rayon, which is why many crafters prefer to rely on other options like polyester or cotton.
Polyester thread is an excellent economical option when you want excellent quality without emptying your wallet. Though it has slightly less sheen than rayon, it holds its color longer over time, making it the best choice for high-wash items like kids clothes or blankets.
Though cotton is often overlooked for embroidery, this soft sheen thread is reliable, as long as you stick with a 30-50 wt (anything lighter weight and you risk breakage). This is a great thread for everyday use or beginners.
This exquisite thread lives up to its legendary reputation, producing vibrant and beautiful colors. Strong, stable, and smooth, silk will feed through your machine without breaking. Though the cost is steep, it is worth it if you are embroidering on soft, shiny fabrics that require perfection.
These flashy threads can be tricky but are worth the extra work. Because they’re made by wrapping a thin center core with strips of metal foil slivers, you have to be mindful of your machine’s tension to ensure that the thread stays intact. Many metallic threads are incorporating newer elements to strengthen, like rice paper adhesive or a silver alloy coating. If you want to attempt this speciality thread and produce beautiful embroidery designs, spend the extra buck and go for a higher quality.
Expert Tip: Always test new threads on a hooped piece of fabric on the machine you plan to use in order to test the tension and ensure a good stitch. For more information on special handling tips for different types of thread, check out this Threads Magazine article!