Choosing Machine-Embroidery Threads
by Sharee Dawn Roberts
From Threads #91, pp. 44-47
Stopping at a thread rack these days is like visiting a candy store-there are so many delicious threads to choose from. All of these choices can be intimidating, even to the seasoned embroiderer. But experimenting with threads can expand your color and texture palettes and add new life to your designs, whether you do free-motion embroidery or use a computerized embroidery machine. Here's a look at the threads available to the home embroiderer and tips on how to use them successfully.
From rayon to neon
Thread, like fabric, is made from either synthetic or natural fibers, or both, and each has its own appeal. For examples of the threads mentioned here, see Threads types and brands.
Rayon thread-This thread is the most popular choice overall because of its attractive high sheen, widespread availability, and consistent trouble-free performance, holding up to high-speed stitching without breaking or fraying. Rayon thread comes in a wide range of solid and variegated colors, as well as in a new "twist" thread composed of two or more solid colors twisted together to form a single strand, which adds automatic shading and dimension to flat designs. Most rayon threads are available in a standard 40 wt. and a thicker 30 wt. (in terms of thread sizing, the higher the number, the finer the thread).
Rayon thread is readily available in standard size 40 wt. and a thicker size 30 wt., as well as in a wide range of colors. Brands include Coats & Clark, C & C ColorTwist; The Finishing Touch; Gütermann; Isafil; Madeira; Megasheen; Mettler Silky Sheen; Mez Alcazar; Robison-Anton; Scansilk; Signature; Sulky; and Sulky Ultra Twist.