Decisions, Decisions, Rayon or Polyester??

I work with a lot of people in the embroidery community.  I work with names you will recognize and some you won't know.  Lindee Goodall is one of my favorite people.  Lindee (I love that name) is a no nonsense person who does multiple things in embroidery.  She teaches, she writes blogs and books, she digitizes and in her spare time, she enjoys meeting her fellow embroidery enthusiasts at events all around the USA and beyond! 

There is one thing that I know about 'enthusiasts,' they are enthusiastic!  There are many right here at AnnTheGran.  There is Diane Brown (you can check on this link to see how not to lose small items.) who is a caring wife, mother and grandmother.  She does a great deal for her family - - - does that sound familiar to any of YOU?

My personal favorite it Debbie SewBlest.  Click to see her ideas for holiday giving to a child's teacher.  She has only been blogging for a little over a year but she is truly a great idea person.

Then there is Eileen Roche, Click on that link if you miss her blog on 12 house hold items that make great tools for embroidery.  She runs the Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine, Stitchin Sisters Events and still makes time for AnnTheGran.  Super Woman!!!

Here are my observations, in no particular order, from my own projects and my SWF, 15 needle machine.  Remember, we are seeking some information regarding Rayon v. Polyester:

  • Everyone can and/or will have a little different experience with their project -
  • Thread is one of the culprits that will make things go well or badly -
  • Every machine has its own personality which is very human-like, sometimes kind and sometimes a little unkind -
  • Some of us buy thread that is 'on sale.'  The 'sale' can mean many things (not limited to just these):
    • The company wants to sell a new variety of its products -
    • The company (my personal favorite) has taxes due and needs funds -
    • The company knows the thread is a bit on the old side, making it on the dry side -
    • Or a lot of other reasons.
  • Many of us have both rayon and polyester in our stashes of thread.

Here is where the serious question of rayon v. polyester comes in.  Let's say you are doing a design that has multiple colors which you can match.  However, some are rayon and some are polyester. 

Here are two roses with similar colors but the left is done with Rayon and the right was done in Polyester.  It was done with the recommended tension and the appropriate stabilizers.  The polyester may have looked just fine in the hoop but upon removal, the stretch of the thread and fabric just might result in some puckering. 

Frankly, many people don't notice puckering unless it is pointed out to them.  Many people are not 'schooled' in what good embroidery should look like.  After all, some of their grandmother's hand embroidery may have puckered as well.  She actually may have not been perfect either!

Imagine how a project might look if you were mixing thread types!  I do recommend that you stick with the best threads you can get.  The Internet has many places to get excellent thread.  I totally recommend getting 'thread sets' for a very important reason - they are color coordinated (saturation, hue, lightness, brightness and contrast) and blend beautifully together.  Take my word for it, not having good colors together can be just terrible.

This is a great set.  It is excellent for your holiday projects and beyond!!!


Just a last word, when was the last time you backed up your designs?????  Get to it!

Comments (7) -

Thank you, Pat.

You are as kind and generous as you are talented, and a true icon of the embroidery industry.

Embroiderers world wide have benefitted from your generous sharing of all things embroidery!

I use Maderia Rayon 90% of the time, I do have RA Poly that I use in things that I know will be bleached.

I love that way my projects look in Rayon and I am really tired of hearing how bad rayon is.  If it is that bad how come 90% of the great embroidery sites use it?

I do a lot of ME as you well know and I have found out the hard and expensive way what my machine likes.  They do have their own personalities.


Thanks for your input ladies!  If embroiderers knew just how much these little notes mean to me, I would see more of them - at least I hope I would.

Marge, I know there has been discussion about both and I am in agreement with you.  I did purchase some polyester (a large set) and was disappointed.  I don't know if it was the brand or the polyester but at this time, I think it is the polyester.  

Additionally, rayon is so consistent and consistently terrific that I am entirely in that corner permanetly - until something has a major change.  

Rayon takes color so beautifully and has the sheen.  I know that polyester is gaining, but I like the tried and true.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

BTW, if you want to see some beautiful and significant items, check out the Galleries - specifically -">

When you see Marsuz, you know you will be seeing something of real beauty and detail.  She puts together many large pieces that are 12+ pieces which make up the designs that are real show stoppers.

I have been encouraging her to do a blog about the methods of putting a large design together. Maybe we should be nudging her just a little. . . .

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

Thanks Pat but you give me to much credit.  A great piece starts with a great designer.

I have just upload the Guardian Angel that I did for my DDIL for Christmas.


Thanks for all your blogs.  I constantly check for any new blog or forum. You, all, have taught me so much. I learn everyday.


Thanks everyone.  I love embroidery - even though I have issues - a lot.  I also love doing the blog.  

It has been a dream for me to have both of my machines going at the same time.  Today, that happened.  Well, they both broke thread at almost the same time.  Be careful what you wish for!!!

LOL, Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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