Friday, July 14, 2017

Metallic Threads

Metallic threads require some special handling but are frequently well worth the effort. Here are some helpful

When using Metallic threads an Embroidery 40wt. polyester or nylon bobbin thread is absolutely necessary. Run your fingers along the thread, it will feel like fish scales. Every time a cotton thread catches on a scale it will break. A polyester bobbin thread is very smooth and will not get caught. Please use a Metallic needle. I recommend a size 90/14 to start. As you get better try a 80/12  or 70/11neelle.

For Flat film polyester thread use a nylon or polyester bobbin thread. The smooth finish of this thread helps the thread glide easily. Use a Metallic or a top stitch needle size 90/14. The large eye helps prevent shredding. This thread MUST feed from the side of the spool. Think about a spool of ribbon, is pulled from the top it will twist. So will this thread and every twist is a potential breaking point.

Don’t be afraid of the tension knob, but it’s actually your best friend when you are machine sewing. Be bold about experimenting with different settings. How does the stitching on the top look? On the bottom? Adjust the tension as needed.
For best results, make a test sample and remember the tension should be balanced top and bottom.
·        Loops on the top means the bottom tension needs adjustment
·        Loops on the bottom indicates the top tension requires adjustment.

The more you machine sew, the easier you will find it to be, so have patience with yourself. There are a few general troubleshooting techniques that seem to solve most problems:
·        Change the needle
·        Use the right needle for the thread and the job
·        Rethread the sewing machine, both needle and bobbin
·        Clean your machine
·        Sew slower

If the top thread breaks or shreds:
·        The needle may be too small. It needs to be large enough to make a sufficient hole in the fabric to prevent wear on the thread.
·        The needle tension may be too tight. Loosen the tension a little at a time until the thread stops breaking.
·        Check to make sure the needle is properly installed.
·        Some decorative threads become worn as they go through the thread guide on the machine closest to the needle. Skip this thread guide.
·        Clean and oil (check the manual) your machine.
·        If your metallic thread breaks, check to make sure you are using the correct needle. The bobbin thread type is also important. When you run your fingers down metallic thread, it feels a bit like fish scales. If you have a cotton thread in the bobbin, the metallic thread will constantly grab it and break. Switch to a polyester or nylon bobbin thread.
·        Rayon and metallic threads tend to be slippery and slip off the spool. They may wind around the spool pin holder or catch on the spool itself. There are two possible solutions -- a horizontal holder or a mesh or nylon sleeve for the thread.
·        Adding a monofiliment thread into the needle with very delicate metallic threads may add enough strength to the decorative thread to make sewing much easier.
·        If all else fails, ask your sewing machine dealer to check for burrs.

1 comment:

beckyquilts said...

These are great tips! I have always had trouble with metallics, I will try some of these ideas and hope to have a better experience.