Metallic Thread Embroidery Tips

Metallic Thread Embroidery Tips

I made a list of the most common answers to the age old question... "why can't I use metallic threads successfully?"  Let's start with the top-5 answers first then we'll get some more suggestions from our members!

The problem with metallic thread is that it does not go through the entire thread path as easily as non-metallic thread because it is not smooth.  To use metallic thread then we have to do everything possible to remove any other issues along the way.

1)  Set your machine's stitching speed to as low a number as possible. 

2)  Use a "metallic needle".  It has a bigger eye.

3) Use highest quality metallic thread available.

4)  Experiment with which brand is best for your machine.

5) Make sure the thread path is not impaired. Look for any burs on the throat plate where the needle goes through.  Also - check the areas that you can see inside your machine in case there are any nicks in the plastic along the thread path.   A repair technician will remove any burs or nicks with a small file.  Like a metal fingernail file, but (s)he will remove the part from the machine before filing to prevent filings from getting into your machine.  

Those are the starting points I'd recommend, but I also asked in our forum for other tips. 

Here are some more suggestions from our members... 

Put thread in a mug or something (threadstand) on the floor in front of your machine (some people put it in a mug behind their machine) to give it more time to "relax" before it goes into the machine itself. Less breakage -- Nique

I use a thread stand with a high guide to allow the twisting to relax before entering the thread guide for my machine. I set it away from my machine by about 1 foot. Also, tell everyone to have patience when working with metallics. Some metallics work better with your machine than others. -- Peggy

I have the best results with the Sulky brands ...I have another one in gold but it breaks every few mins...I dont know the brand it must have been on the wrapper...I use larger eye needle and a "Universal Thread Holder" which has a raised arm I also keep it about 12" away from the machine with the metallic thread on the cup idea Nique...sounds great...God bless... -- Norma

I use sewers aid with mine and sometimes guide it with my fingers. I just bought the thread guide that has been featured on your DN. I will try it next time. I have heard some refrigerate theirs, but I haven't tried that yet. You might also want to remind them that they will sometimes have best results if the design is digitized for Metallic threads if there is such a way to do that. (I have read that anyway).  -- Cari

Skip the last thread guide before the needle. And I also put silicone on the needle thread hole.
Where will you be putting this article???  -- Beth

my friend who opperates a 12 head commercial machine told me to thread the metallic through a styro packing 'peanut' before it gets to the guides.  It does not make sense to me but there i told you.  -- V

Mama Duck, I'd heard of that somewhere, so tried it the last time I used metallic thread ... AND IT WORKED! It was the first time I'd done anything with metallic thread where I DIDN'T have any breaks :-) (Of course, I also had done some of the other stuff -- lower speed, thread on a stand away from the machine to give it longer to "relax," etc.) -- Judi

I put my spool on an empty CD spindle on the floor and then run the thread up through the wire thread guide and thread the machine - I've had good luck with allowing the thread to relax ..... -- Linda

I only tried one design using a spool given to me to try. And I threaded it on my Hemingworth stand... and it stitched out just fine. I wanted to try running two threads at once... but haven't bought any spools yet. But I have tried it with regular embroidery thread... worked just like he said in his video. :)   Dovie loves her thread stand. :D (giving it a big kiss! hehe) -- Dovieeeeeee

I too use the CD spindle....with thread going up about 14" through a white plastic "hook" (taken off the kitchen waffle towels used to hang the towels on the hook in Walmart)that is taped to the upper shelf behind my machine.

If design is dense and I am using "difficult" thread, I've put a drop of sewers aid on the pad of my index finger and let the thread glide over it before it goes into the needle. One huge spool of gold metallic thread is 13 years old and I can still use it with this method since my Brother doesn't have a speed selection and thread doesn't break.  -- Wanda

Betty Louise 
I apologize. Maybe everyone else knows what a CD spindle is or isn't. I haven't the hint of what it is or isn't.

A 45 record spindle I've seen.
An LP record spindle I've seen.
Even a wool spindle I've seen.
But a CD speidle?

Please help. What is it?  -- Betty

(Betty -- Thanks for asking! -- Larry)

Sue from AZ 
Betty when you go to Wal-marts look for CDs in the computer department. They are flat round disc that you can burn. OR you can buy music CDs also with your favorite artist like Elvis. When you buy the blank CDs they come in packages of 20 to 100 discs and they are on a spindle. I really don't know how to explain what a spindle looks like but if you go to Wal-mart and look for a package of blank CD's you see the spindle.  I hope I made sense here and helped a tad. -- Sue

Thanks to Nique, Peggy, Norma, Cari, Beth, V, Judi, Linda, Dove, Wanda, Betty, and Sue for contributing to this article!

If you are a NOT member of the ArtisticThreadWorks community yet - you can CLICK HERE to join us!  If you are a member and would like to ask more about using metallic threads or want to add comments to this topic then click here for this topic in our forum!

-- Larry

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