Using metallic threads in projects, to add touches of shiny sparkle, has always intrigued me. I’ve attempted a few times, then quickly realized there is certainly a learning curve. Before National Sewing Month began, I knew it would be a subject I would address during the month, so I made a note. Along with this note, I found several websites dealing with machine sewing with metallic threads for easy/quick reference. Well, today is the day!
|Photo by Squishythings (Creative Commons)|
Here is the shiny sparkle scoop:
At Threads, they explained how manufacturers create the metallic threads. They also listed the available brands and highly recommended trying different ones, to determine which works best in the individual sewing machine. That makes sense. They include “Special handling tips” which applies to the embroidery threads, too! This is what I took from their tips (please read their article for the full details – I’m not reinventing the wheel here!):
- Check tension
- ALWAYS: when changing colors, or re-threading, clip at spool and pull thread out (never ever pull thread – any thread in my opinion – backwards out the thread guides)
- Make sure the thread is straight, not all twisted up going through the thread-feeding system.
- They say some threads come off the spool better from a horizontal pin and others from a vertical pin, to play around with it if having problems.
- Along the same lines, some threads work better coming off from the back of the spool, others from the front.
I found some amazing hints from Sharla R. Hicks. Her help faqs are worth bookmarking for later reference if/when problems arise!
1. Correct needle size
2. Longer stitch length
3. Tension adjustment
4. A bead of silicon????? (Sorry, this hint confuses me!)
5. Bobbin thread
A contributor to Yahoo! Voices, Emma Salk offers sewing tips, techniques, and hints when sewing with metallic thread. The following are tips I didn’t see mention in the precious two findings!
- Slow sewing works best
- Cut thread at an angle before attempting to thread needle (it won’t unravel as quick)
- Threads with a nylon core and is wrapped, rather than twisted, will give less trouble
One last website I’ll mention/recommend (because there are thousands upon thousands) is from QuiltingDaily. They share the highlights found in author Liz Kettle’s interactive eMag In Stitches article. The 6 Keys to Metallic Thread Success pretty much covers what I’ve already mentioned from the others. However, Liz details more specifically about bobbin thread and needles, and the use of stabilizers, and is worth the quick read!
After going through the different articles for/with you, I feel better about the shiny sparkle scoop. I hope it’s helped you! The next attempt of machine sewing with metallic threads should be a success! Let me hear if it works better for you, too!