Taming Metallic Threads

Tis the season of glitz and glitter! That means using metallic threads and, with them, plenty of headaches.  Here are some tips for less thread breaks and more enjoyable machine embroidery with metallics!

Slow Down the Machine

Reduce the speed of your embroidery sewing machine and you will have less thread breaks.

Reduce Tension

Machine tension may also need to be relaxed to lessen pull on the thread as it is stitching.

Use the Right Needle

Use a metallic or topstitch needle. They have a longer (and larger) eye that reduces friction on the metallic thread and helps to prevent fraying. Also, don’t be afraid to pop a new needle on your machine at the beginning of a project.

Relax the Thread

Being wound on a spool affects how the thread performs, especially with metallic blends. The distance between the spool and the machine can alleviate curling and thread breaks.

Use a thread stand or drop your thread over the edge of a table and put it in a cup on the floor. Then, thread your machine as usual. By the time the metallic thread is fed into the machine, it has an opportunity to relax.

Still having trouble? Sometimes, turning the thread spool the opposite way on the spool pin makes a difference too.

Use a Quality Thread

Not all threads are created equally and a bargain is not a bargain if it does not work well. The manufacturing process is different depending on the brand, so if one brand is giving you fits, do not give up on metallic thread altogether. Try another brand.

What tips do you have for embroidering with metallic thread?