Can you trust your thread?

Well, let's assume that you have at least decent eyesight, but can you trust what you see?  There are so many ways that the universe can make us see something in the light in which they want us to, not necessarily as it is.  Some are obvious, all of us have seen something similar to these:




These are fun.  Is that an old or young lady.  Is that a flower design or a woman's face. Do you see four horses?  But not getting what you think you are getting is not so much fun when you have thread issues.   

If you read my blog regularly, you know I am a fan of Madeira.  I have never had a failure with Madeira and  I know that I can trust them. 

However, because I do try new things, I recently did purchase a brand name (you would recognize the name) 'collection' of colors.  In my blogs, I recommend what I have found to be excellent in my use, but I never give the name of a brand that I have found to be less than acceptable.  If you want to know the name of this brand of thread, please go to my profile and if you are signed in, you will see on the left a link to email me for that information.

Let's look at the thread itself and specifically the 'size' of the thread.  Just like the hair on your head, a single strand is very thin, about 75 microns for human hair, but not everyone's hair is the same size.

As it turns out, not all 60 weight thread is the same either!  Does that surprise you like it did me? 

I had been having a lot of trouble with one of the fonts that I use from AlphabetXpress.  It was intermittent and I was having the dickens of a time trying to figure out the problem.  Over time, I cannot estimate the amount of time I had with this issue but it was well over 50 hours. 

The specific font was Darling.  It is one of the most popular with my sales site and I have discontinued it several times because of failure.  I have checked - in no particular order:

  • the digitizing  - ruled out
  • the machine - ruled out
  • the needle - ruled out
  • the density - ruled out
  • the size of the lettering - ruled out
  • polyester versus rayon thread - not sure

I could go on and on.  The one thing I had not considered was the thread.  After all, 40 weight is 40 weight.  I figured the only time there would be a difference would be in the metallic threads.

Look at these samples:




Clearly the offending  brand was much more thin and that means less coverage.  While I do writing on hankies, you may be doing a 'field' area like snow, grass or the sky.  This would make a project unacceptable for me.

Buy the best you can afford and always do sample threads.  Did I check every one of the spools I got, no.  But I have wasted money and I really don't like that.  How about you?

Comments (3) -

I have found out over the years that Maderia Thread is the best that I can use in my machine.  The machine on occasion has eaten thread of another brand and ruined what I was doing.

This should be rule # 2, right after learning the machine; test with "like" fabric, then the needles and thread.

Sometimes lettering needs to be compressed a bit for better coverage.

I do not have the luxury of a nearby shop for machine embroidery, so I have to try everything.

How rural is it where I live?  The news of the day is about a deer saving a female college student from being mugged!  Deer 1/Mugger 0!

If that had been John Deer, I would have hog-tied him and picked his brain before he ran off  - even though his Digitizing Made Easy does address fonts.

Happy stitching everyone!

Marsuz - I know what you mean.  When I have a failure on a project, there are too many things to look at - did I stabilize correctly - was the needle dull - etc, etc.  Using the right thread is paramount and some machines just don't like certain thread.  Madeira has never failed for me and I have never heard of anyone saying they had a problem either.  

Pattiann - I agree, make sure you have the correct density as well.  In this particular case, the density seemed to be correct since Madeira worked.  

Additionally, in this case, using AlphabetXpress, I can make the lettering many sizes - nearly infinite sizes.  But the bottom line is the digitizing is very good - NOT perfect - and was working in all the other ways I could think of, such as field coverage.

I have tried to do AX in really large sizes and not been successful.  So, there is a limit but if you review other font/monogram designs, that is true of any digitizing.  If you have to go bigger or smaller beyond what the design recommends, you need a different set of letters.  


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