The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Taming metallic threads and a Freebie with a quote from Maya Angelou.

I sincerely hope that you and yours are all safe and well. Frustration will cause further damage to an already anxious world, so lets forget about the Pandemic for just a little while. Relax, grab your favorite beverage (make sure it is not too early for your drink) and take a breather, tomorrow will unfold as it will.

Among the most challenging issues in embroidery is Metallic Thread, and its finicky habit of breaking. It also gets a bit tangled within itself, and demands that you slow down, robbing you of precious time. But, there is a method that will make you say "why didn't I think of that!" 

You know that I am a big fan of John Deer. After all, he has been doing machine style embroidery since he was under 20 years old. We won't mention his current age, but it absolutely is more years that a large percentage of the 'experts' on the Net. When I saw his suggestion, I was thinking - why didn't I think of that??? It is only 3 minutes long and it will likely make sense to you.  He has a simple form to use the thread, but I thought about something more sturdy. This is $13.00 at Walmart. You just need to be sure a spool will fit over the end angle. I am thinking that I may use this for all my threads. 

For this blog, I spent a lot of time researching what I thought were the best tips and tricks for use of metallic threads. 

These are the, IMHO, best ideas for your digesting. There are some that I KNOW personally and logically just won't work. (In no particular order)
  •  Use a metallic needle. If you are not familiar with them, you can see my list of the 'recommended needles' for various fabrics here - 
  • Start with a new metallic needle. A 90/14 needle is a good choice and fresh needles are a must when you are working with tricky supplies. 
  • Slow down the machine. Just because you can sew 1200 stitches per minute does not mean you need to do so. 
  • Test different metallic threads on your machine. Manufacturing is variable AND machines take to all thread differently. You need the thread that works best for you and your machine. 
  • Beware of extremely tight or very dense designs. Metallics don't play nice if they are very crowded. It always needs to be void of twists or kinks. Abrasion is the culprit you will watch for and avoid.

I personally have viewed dozens of suggestions for use of metallics. Over the years, I have seen these that are just a little interesting in their approach. If it works for you, by all means, continue. What works for one person may or may not work for others.
  • Use a packing peanut and pull thread through it. My concern here is that added 'drag' to the thread can be damaging. And if the hole is on the large size, I am not certain that would help.
  • Put the thread into the freezer for 'x' amount of time. thought-provoking as this one is, when placed in a cold area, metal generally becomes brittle. 
  • Make sure the thread path is not impaired. That is a tried and true thought for any sewing or other machine related action. 
  • Use a thread stand and place it away from your machine. Hmm . . . allowing metallic thread to relax is a great idea. But at the rate of 600 stitches per minute, that thread is traveling quickly and about 10 feet away, there might be some relaxing . 

May I suggest that you check out Madeira Metallic Threads here at AnnTheGran. This set sells for $99.95 (sells at that online mega-selling site for $119.95)

BTW - Debbie SewBlest wrote this blog in late 2019 and if you have a little time right now, it is worth checking it out AND do one or two of the suggestions to make your embroidery experience better for the future. I especially LOVE the stabilizer idea.

For my Freebie, please enjoy this simple quote from Maya Angelou.  I used metallic gold for her name. 

Thank you for your kind attention. Metallics make a design more interesting and best of all, makes you look like a professional! Stay Safe and best wishes to you and yours. Pat

Comments (1) -

I did a blog in December, 2016 also regarding metallic thread (freebie included). I reviewed the tips and found they were more detailed and still very good!!

Check it out, there is a snowman freebie there.

Best wishes to you and yours, Pat, Avid Embroiderer

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