Home embroidery machines give you the ability to create beautiful and professional looking thread art on your various garments and projects. Yet for you to get the best results from Janome embroidery machines like the Janome MB-4S, you must choose the right thread for your projects. Use the quick guide below to help understand the various types of embroidery thread available and how to choose the best one for your design.
The Importance of Thread Weight
Thread for use with embroidery machines is produced in various sizes, just like embroidery needles. The weight or thickness of the thread plays an important part in how the thread passes through each different fabric and how the final design looks once it is finished. Threads are sized from #12 which is the coarsest, to #100 which is the finest. Standard sewing thread is #50.
Generally, finer fabrics require finer threads and vice-versa. Depending on the design, a thread that is too fine might allow fabric to show through. Using a thread that is too thick would result in compressed stitches and a stiff design. A good idea is to test a scrap of the fabric being used beginning with a #50 or #60 thread and adjust from there until the stitches look as desired.
Varying Results with Different Fibers
When choosing threads to use with Janome embroidery machines, the fiber content is just as important as the thread weight. Embroidery threads are made from various fibers, each of which will look differently in embroidery designs sewn on machines like the Janome MB-4S. Following are some different types of fiber used in embroidery thread and how they should be used:
- Polyester – Polyester is a durable thread suitable for items worn and washed frequently. It is available in a wide variety of non-running and non-fading colors. It produces a smoother finish than cotton without any shine to the stitches.
- Rayon and Silk – For more decorative purposes, rayon is the most popular thread due to its softness and shine. It looks like natural silk, producing a fine, elegant look; however, it is stronger and much less expensive. Rayon is available in a large palette of non-running colors; however, the color can fade due to exposure to light or frequent washing. Silk performs the same as rayon, producing a durable design with a high sheen; however, it is more expensive and not as available.
- Cotton – A finer and more delicate thread, cotton gives the look of hand-stitched embroidery with a matte look and a slight fuzziness that fills in spaces well. It is recommended for linens, heirlooms, and decorative items that will not see daily use.
- Specialty Threads - In addition to the main varieties used in most machine embroidery, there are a number of specialty threads available in various weights, colors, and fibers for your designs. Some of these varieties include metallic and Mylar threads that produce a sparkly or shiny look, wool blends that produce a soft fuzzy look, variegated color threads, and glow-in-the-dark threads.
Stitching artistic designs using thread on embroidery machines like the Janome MB-4S can be a lot of fun. What is not fun is the disappointment you may experience using Janome embroidery machines because the wrong thread was used. Make the most of your time, avoid wasted thread, and be sure your projects last by learning how to choose the right thread!