Metallic embroidery thread adds a touch of glamour and sophistication to your embroidery projects, but many crafters find it challenging to work with. In this guide, we'll delve into techniques for successfully using metallic threads, ensuring that your embroidery projects shine with brilliance.
Understanding Metallic Threads:
Explore the Variety:
- At Sit n' Sew, we carry 2 types of metallic threads (FS Metallic and Supertwist), both from Madeira. FS Metallic or smooth metallic is a metallic machine embroidery thread, typically solid colors like gold and silver, that is a smooth supple thread, perfect for sophisticated embroidery designs on elaborate base materials. The combination of a razor-thin Polyamide core and twist construction results in a top quality and reliable metallic embroidery thread. Madeira FS Metallic embroidery thread is available in a variety of colors and delivers exceptional quality.
- Supertwist metallic machine embroidery thread, is constructed of a specifically developed raw material, eliminating looping, puckering and virtually all thread breaks. This twisted, brightly-colored, metallic thread brings designs to life with sparkle. Unexpected textured dimension and dazzling embroidery is guaranteed with this sparkling metallized embroidery thread. Smoothly running, festive and magnificent colors ensure glittering reflexes. Choose from subtle iridescent tones, charming opal and pastel-colored crystal hues (fast to denim-wash) or from an amazing selection of multi colors. The innovative structure and fine finish allow embroidery at highest speed on the most difficult material.
Tips and Tricks for Embroidering with Metallic Thread:
Thread Tension Matters:
- Embroiderers often opt to decrease tension, assuming that high tension leads to metallic thread breakage. Contrary to this belief, our experience, especially in digitizing designs for metallic thread, reveals the opposite! Generally, metallic embroidery thread requires a slightly higher tension than rayon and polyester threads. It's crucial to grasp that no single recommendation stands alone; they all operate in harmony. In this instance, top tension collaborates with the bobbin tension employed on our embroidery machine.
We recommend keeping the bobbin tension unchanged, in contrast to the suggestions of many thread companies. However, we set the bobbin tension as low as possible. If the tension is too low, the thread may pull out of the needle, causing the machine to stop immediately after starting. Although the thread pulling off the needle might suggest tight top tension, that is not the case.
Embroidery Design & Density:
- Adjust the stitch density in the digitized design according to the thickness of the thread, as is customary with all types of embroidery threads. For FS Metallic #40, it is recommended for a stitch density of 0.40 based on 1mm and for Supertwist it is recommended 0.60 based on 1mm. It is advisable to steer clear of extremely small stitches. As a general guideline, use no less than a 1 mm stitch length for standard embroidery thread. For designs involving twisted metallic threads, aim for a minimum stitch length of 3 mm, while smoother metallics can accommodate a minimum of 2 mm lengths—although this depends on various factors.
- When feasible, create a new digitized design specifically for metallic threads, adhering to the previously recommended avoidance of very small stitches and ensuring a minimum of 3 mm stitch length for designs with twisted metallic threads. In general, maintain a lower stitch density for the design, and when possible, minimize the presence of sharp corners.
Mastering metallic thread opens up a world of creative possibilities in embroidery. Armed with the right techniques and tips, you can confidently incorporate metallic threads into your projects, adding a touch of elegance and shimmer. Visit our Metallic Thread Collection to explore a variety of options and elevate your embroidery to new heights. Not sure which color you need? We also carry Color Card with actual thread samples to help you choose the best thread for your designs.