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Conversational Threads

Metallic threads

rekha | Posted in General Sewing Info on

This is my first attempt to use metallic thread.

I tried pintucking with twin needle, but the thread broke every time I tried to sew.

Googled and found that I need some sort of mechanism to hold the thread vertical before being fed through the tension system.

Is this the only thing I need to do to the smooth running of sewing?

Any other tips would be appreciated


  1. sewelegant | | #1

    A metallic needle is helpful.  I have not done a lot of sewing with metallic thread, but I did buy the needles for a small project and there is a larger eye for the thread to go through so it will not fray.

    1. rekha | | #2

      I just received the twin metallic needles.

      Would it be able to hold the metallic thread in both eyes?

      I am treading into a totally unknown path.

  2. User avater
    JunkQueen | | #3

    Are you talking about thread stands? I do use them almost exclusively because it's just convenient for me. I am watching this thread closely, because I too just bought several spools of metallic thread and want to experiment with it.

    1. rekha | | #4

      Do you have an internet address for the spool stands or keywords that will get me answers on the google?

      Which brand of threads did you get? I have Madeira's, but am unsure whether this is the thread to go for.

      1. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #5

        Here is a link to one. http://www.sewingmachine.com/cgi-bin/sesewing/single_spool_stand.html

        They all look alike. I got mine from my sewing machine dealer. In fact, he gave me a couple of them because of some problems I had had which were not my fault. (He just last week gave me an extra bobbin case for bobbin work! I love my dealer.) I bought several spools of Sulky thread from the clearance bin -- I liked $1.25/spool better than $3.99.

        Edited 7/19/2008 10:59 am by JunkQueen

      2. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #6

        Well, actually, there are different types of thread stands. That was a single thread stand I showed you. Here is a 10-spool stand:
        and as I look at it, it really appeals to me. I'd never considered one before.My original query to Google was 'thread spool stand' and here are the results. There are several interesting sites.http://tinyurl.com/59e47b

        Edited 7/19/2008 11:38 am by JunkQueen

      3. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #7

        When I worked commercial embroidery, the metallic threads had to be watched extra carefully as they were not as smooth going through the machine. The metallics are actually tiny ribbons of flattened metal or metallic plastic that are spun into the thread to give it it's shine. Madeira is a good name brand, as good as any. You have to sew out at a slower speed. I was also going to suggest the metallic needles. Some spools benefit from a net over them so they unwind smoothly as well. They are well worth the extra effort. Also check if you can just slightly loosen your upper tension a little bit. They tend to stretch more than regular threads, and are a bit more fragile. Cathy

        1. rekha | | #8

          Sorry I was just trying to experiment with the metallic threads and take photos to show what gives.

          Additionally, the initial reason for metallic pintucks on a bright fabric was to neutralise the colour.

           Unfortunately, it hasn't happened as you can see

          Also, in the absence of a thread stand, I used the bobbin winder 'knob' to hold the second metallic thread with a micropore spool (any would have done, but that was the nearest) underneath

          Comments of any kind welcome

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #9

            Rekha, I know I was talking about embroidery machines, however, the same principles are used when sewing with the threads. I know you didn't get the effect you wanted, but it sure looked neat anyhow. Cathy

          2. rekha | | #10

            Do you really think it looks OK?

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            The picture was not the clearest, however, when I zoomed in, I thought it was really interesting looking. Sometimes, when we try different techniques, the "mistakes" we make take us into a new unique direction that is totally new. Because you were attempting a specific goal, you may not see the uniqueness of what you have done. Give your samples a few days in a dark drawer out of sight and mind, then look at them with new eyes. See then what you think. Cathy
            I really do think you have done something very unique. Play with it a little until you are satisfied.

          4. rekha | | #12

            Thanks again.

            I tried several things like pintucking in black and the metallic thread, pintucking over a floral design but didn't like any either.

            l shall bear your suggestion in mind.

            Bedtime now.

          5. fabricholic | | #13

            I have never had any luck with metallics and I have metallic needles. I was trying to do machine embroidery. I know Nancy's Notions has this liquid that she squirts on her thread to lubricate it. Good luck!

          6. rodezzy | | #14

            In a show on "Simply Quilts" a quilt artist put her metallic thread in her bobbin and did her sewing from the back side of the project.  She bought extra bobbin cases for her machine in order to keep the tension correct for regular sewing.  I've tried in on the piece I quilted for my friend, and it worked fine enough.  I outlined the area to be quilted by hand basting with long basting stitches from the front side, then filled in my quilting area from the back of the project.  I used regular thread in a matching color in the top thread.  Depends on the project though.  Good Luck.

        2. DONNAKAYE | | #15

          The only metallic thread that doesn't break (at least not nearly as often) is Madeira.  I also get thread shredding (yes, I've followed all the guidelines) with all other brands except Madeira, Guitermann and Metrosene.  Just my two cents.

          1. fabricholic | | #16

            Did you try Sulky? That's what I used. I always ended up with metallic thread in the machine under the throat cover. What a mess. It is not easy to get all the little pieces of metal out, either. I see metallic embroidery in pictures but, I've never completed a whole piece without it messing up.

          2. DONNAKAYE | | #17

            I hate to say this, because I know Sulky is a Threads advertiser, but I never use Sulky.  The thread breaks or shreds all throught my projects.  I'm on a Bernina Artista, and all my settings are correct.  I even had my dealer and an authorized Bernina service technician try it on my machine with the same results.  I do use Sulky, however, especially the newer multi-colored threads, for topstitching.  For that purpose I love it.  Sometimes I'll also use Sulky for hand basting when I've run out of silk thread.

          3. fabricholic | | #18

            Thanks for the information. I'll try Madeira.

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