Reva's Tips

Reva's Tip: It's the Thread That Can Make a Difference

Reva's Tip: It's the Thread That Can Make a Difference

Have you ever felt that your embroidery project needed something to be just perfect? A very simple way to get the results that you envision could be as simple as using a special thread.

Both the weight and the finish (texture) of the thread can completely change the look of your project. When looking at different threads it is good to know that the higher the number the thinner the thread.

I am a thread junkie! It is so pretty and comes in such nice colors. The truth is, I collect it. I don't always have a project in mind when I purchase it but am so glad to have it when the need arises. That being said, I often need to stop and think about what the properties of the particular thread I want to use as well as the intended design I am planning on using. Will the two cooperate and work well together? Should I change to a different needle size or type? Should I do a test sew-out with my choices? Hint - the answer to that last one is yes.

Standard embroidery thread is 40 weight and is most commonly rayon or polyester. This thread gives good coverage and is the thread for which most embroidery designs are created. A finer weight thread will allow for finer detail to be visible & small lettering to be crisper and clearer. If you use a heavier weight thread, like a 12 weight, you will need to make sure that you are using an appropriately sized needle & a design that is created to work with the thread's thickness. Generally, as you work with different weights of threads, keep in mind that you may have more success with different needle types or sizes.

Different types & weights of threads can give interest and texture to your project. My favorite new threads are the Matte threads & the expanded pallet of the Flawless threads.

40 wt High Sheen Polyester - This is the most commonly thread used for embroidery. It is very strong, beautiful, & comes in a wide array of appealing colors. Plus, it is color fast, even if bleached.

40 wt Rayon – This soft and supple thread has wonderful drape and is great for applications where a soft drape is desired (like lace for a garment). This is a natural fiber and is sensitive to laundering & bleach.

40 wt Matte Embellish Polyester – This thread gives your project an Artisan feel with its matte finish. It looks more like cotton hand embroidery floss & has a beautiful color palette that is colorfast, even with bleaching.

60 wt Micro Fine Flawless Polyester - Thinner and lighter weight than regular embroidery thread, this thread stitches in a more 'dainty' way. It is perfect for small lettering, outlining, details and even embroidered lace.

40 wt Metallic – This thread offers beautiful shine and is great for accents. You will want to avoid using metallic thread on overly dense designs to reduce issues like thread shredding.

12-80 wt Quilting Threads - These come in various weights and finishes. If you are quilting with your embroidery machine, it is okay to use quilting threads to stitch your quilting designs. This will give you the fabulous results for which you are striving.

Play with the types of thread you are using when you embroider, and it might surprise you how changing your thread type can enhance your design.

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