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How to pick the right thread for machine embroidery?

Make the best choice for your next project.


How to pick the right thread for machine embroidery



Thread is an essential part of an embroidery project. It’s the main supply that you’ll use to build any design. For this reason, you should pay special attention to the type of thread that you choose.

This post explains the advantages and disadvantages of four popular types of threads. Take your time to think about which one fits your needs. We hope you find it helpful!


On this article:

Polyester thread
Rayon thread
Cotton thread
Metallic thread


Polyester thread


polyester thread


Advantages of Polyester Thread


Polyester is the most affordable option when it comes to embroidery thread. If you don’t want to invest a lot of money on supplies, this material is the perfect option for you.

This thread is easy to use and hard to break. These characteristics make it the perfect choice for rookie embroiderers. You can easily experiment with it without being afraid of ruining your artwork.

Polyester has a very peculiar shiny look that lasts a lot.  You can bet on this type of thread for durable artwork.

You can wash polyester stitches with your washing machine. That is why this thread is an excellent option for items that you have to clean regularly, like baby bibs or table clothes.


Disadvantages of Polyester Thread


The polyester thread can generate a lot of static electricity. If your clothes get in touch with a plastic surface, this can become annoying.

The shiny effect of polyester surfaces can become quite sticky when it’s hot.

Oily and greasy stains are hard to remove from polyester surfaces.

This material is synthetic. It’s not biodegradable, and its production is not always sustainable.


Rayon thread


rayon thread



Advantages of Rayon Thread


Rayon is an incredibly soft material. It has a delightful touch.

This fiber is less synthetic than polyester. It looks and feels less industrial and more delicate.

Because of its organic aspect, rayon is the perfect choice for projects with an intended vintage touch.

Also known as viscose, rayon is potentially biodegradable.

This material is a synthetic alternative to silk; it provides a similar aspect for a lower price.


Disadvantages of Rayon Thread


Rayon is not a strong type of thread. It looks delicate because it is delicate. We don’t recommend this material for intricate projects. It can only work well on high-quality digitized designs.

We do not recommend using rayon for garments that you’ll have to wash frequently. It’s better to limit its use to items that you can clean by hand. Otherwise, your designs won’t last long.

Depending on how you treat it, rayon can easily stretch or shrink. This can affect the final aspect of your stitches.


Cotton thread


cotton thread


Advantages of Cotton Thread


Cotton is a vegetal fiber. This means that, by choosing a 100% cotton yarn, you are selecting a biodegradable and sustainable option.

This natural material is incredibly fresh and light. Cotton can absorb humidity without getting ruined.

Cotton is a durable material. If you use it in the right way, your embroidery projects will last long.

This fiber is an excellent choice if you want to give your designs a hand-embroidered aspect.

You can wash cotton products as much as you want.


Disadvantages of Cotton Thread


Cotton can change colors easily. This can be great if your goal is to dye it, but if that’s not the case, it can affect your results.

If you don’t wash it correctly, cotton fiber can shrink. Variations on its size and shape can affect your designs’ durability.


Metallic thread

metallic thread

Advantages of Metallic Thread

This type of thread provides a unique look and feel to your machine embroidery projects.

If you use the right needle, you will get a smart, professional effect. Try to use a needle with a big hole so that you can thread it easily.


Disadvantages of Metallic Thread

This type of thread breaks easily. It can be frustrating to work with, especially if you are a beginner.

Once again, you should use this type of thread with high-quality digitized designs.



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