The Avid Embroiderer Presents - So Many Colors, So Little Time. My Freebie is Somebunny you know!

When embroiders meet to exchange ideas, there are a lot of topics to discuss. This blog will acquaint newbies and refresh seasoned embroidered about thread. There is more to learn, but these are specific to embroidery.

Rayon: Rayon is soft to the touch.  Repeated washing tends to be hard on rayon. It is best used on decorative items like wall hangings where there is little handling of the project. 

Polyester: Polyester is stronger than Rayon and colorfast. It has a great shine and, with repeated washes, holds up very well. Children's clothing, blankets, towels, etc. BTW, did you know that towels are routinely used and kept for a very long time, making them a great gift!

Metallics: Metallic add glamour, bling, and sparkle to your projects. Don't just use them on holidays! They are a little touchy, but this trick, courtesy of John Deer's Embroidery Legacy, eliminates one of the most challenging issues. 

Thread comes off the spool like toilet tissue, it actually adds a twist to the thread. 

Using John's example will stop the twisting which can break as it goes through the needle. This is the technical side of embroidery, be creative! I highlighted the thread for better viewing.



Cotton: Hand embroidery often calls for cotton. It does give a more antique appearance. It may be difficult to find for machine embroidery. As with all natural threads, such as silk, it does have its place. 

Notes for threads in general, in no particular order -

  • Some machines and threads don't play nice together. The reason will likely never be known, it just is what it is. 
  • Before buying a pack of 100 colors, give a few spools a try. Inexpensive threads could have hidden flaws like color issues, weak thread, or poor manufacturing practices.
  • Threads that are on 'sale' may or may not be a good buy. Old threads can 'dry up' sort of like a very old shirt or hankie. It's only a bargain if it has a useful shelf life. 
  • Some sale threads may be damaged. Dropping thread can cause a dent in the thread for many, many layers. 
  • Don't put a needle through the spool like your mother used to do. It splits single/multiple threads making it very weak. 
  • Keep your thread in a cool dry spot. Don't add moisture or sunshine. I personally use Silicone from the automotive department. I will spray my spool because silicone disappears and dries without anything left behind. FYI, Sewer's Aid is $5.99 for .5 ounce (half an ounce). Silicone spray is $14.00 for 11 ounces. Use silicone on everything squeaky or stuck around the house. 
  • If you aren't using pre-wound bobbins, consider doing so. There is considerably more thread on the spool and the winding consistency is excellent. They really are quite inexpensive compared to YOUR time. Here is a box of 12 dozen for $47.98! At 33 cents each, these are excellent, & made by Maderia. Madeira Sideless Bobbin L | Be sure to check your machine's manual for the correct size of the bobbin. 


This blog's Freebie is whimsical for Springtime. As noted before, when doing dense designs, don't forget to use a heavy cut-away stabilizer for best results. In fact, you can use more than a single sheet.

I hope that Springtime is in the air and hope and promise abounds. For those in the southern hemisphere, enjoy the fruits of fall. Thank you for joining me today! Pat

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