Use these Tricks for Embroidering with Metallic Threadscomments (6) May 21st, 2008
I love projects in which you create something new and wonderful out of something old. I had a pair of jeans kicking around my closet that I haven’t worn in years, and I decided to give them new life as an embroidered skirt. The jeans-as-skirt created the perfect canvas for a beautiful embroidered hem. I then further embellished it with free-motion stitching! I used a lovely dark gray metallic thread that added the perfect sparkle. I used all my tricks for embroidering with metallic threads, but I still had some minor tension problems.
Sometimes, no matter what you do to prevent tension issues, they can still occur. Bobbin thread can show up on the right side of your embroidery designs. You can minimize how obvious it is by using thread in the bobbin that closely matches the fabric you are embroidering on. I used black bobbin thread, and when it peeked out on the right side, it was barely noticeable.
Here are the tricks of the trade when embroidering with metallic thread:
Use Metafil needles: The needle hole is huge, and there is a little groove in the back of the needle scarf for the thread to pass through smoothly.
Use Sewer’s Aid: A clear silicone liquid that lubricates the metallic thread. (Just put a few beads along the spool of thread. Never put it on your machine directly!)
Use the vertical spool pin: This is especially important, thread that is on the vertical spool will come off like toilet paper—nice and smooth with no twisting, thus reducing tension problems and thread breakages. If you need a visual, visit the bath, and pull the paper off the roll! Thread positioned on a horizontal spool pin twirls off in the horizontal position, making it kink and twist.
Try a glass cup: If you're still getting stuck and the spool is almost finished, you can try skipping the vertical spool in favor of a glass cup. Place the spool in an empty glass, and position the glass behind and to the right of your sewing machine (thread as you would normally). Sometimes, if the spool is allowed to tinker freely in a glass, it will behave while you’re embroidering.
Go slowly: If you still have problems embroidering, try slowing your machine down. Some times metallic thread behaves better if you’re gentle.
Remember the walk away rule: If you’ve been fighting with your project for more than a few minutes, and you’ve rethreaded, changed the needle, and rethreaded several more times, take a break. Sometimes, as if by some magic, things work better after you've taken a mini vacation!