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The High Cost of Cheap Thread

3rd February 2010

The High Cost of Cheap Thread

Saving money and reducing the bottom line is a must for any business these days. For many machine embroidery businesses, one way to reduce costs is to reduce the amount of money that is spent on thread. The theory is that less money spent on purchasing thread will result in less cost for the business, which will then result in greater profit. Unfortunately that theory doesn’t always hold true.

The old saying “You get what you pay for” is an old saying for a reason. Inexpensive or “cheap” thread may seem like a good bargain on the surface, but when you add up the costs associated with running the thread, it becomes apparent that cheap thread isn’t always the bargain it’s cracked up to be.

Cost #1: Cheap thread may break more easily – Cheap thread may be redyed, making it more fragile. An increase in thread breaks will mean more time that your machine is idle. If you’re not embroidering garments, you’re not making money, so any time spent dealing with thread breaks is time that costs you profit.

Cost #2: Cheap thread may have uneven dye lots – If you’re embroidering multiple garments for the same business or organization, you want the colors of the design you embroider to be identical. Cheaper thread may be made with cheaper dye and with less exact dying procedures. This can result in uneven dye lots and uneven color. If the color of your thread varies halfway through the job, you may have to start again and count the items you’ve already embroidered as a loss.

Cost #3: Cheap thread may have uneven thickness – Uneven thickness can cause lumps and bumps in your design as well as uneven stitches. It can also cause your design to use more thread than necessary. Thinner thread also results in more thread being necessary to fill the design, which causes higher thread usage, which means you’ll go through thread faster and will need to replenish your stock more often.

Cost #4: Cheap thread may not be colorfast – You’ve sewn the design, given it to your customer and a week later they’re back because the thread ran after one wash. Now you have to replace the garment and re-do the embroidery, most likely at no cost to the customer. Whatever profit you made on the original job has now disappeared.

When you purchase a cheap thread, you’re really taking a gamble that none of the problems listed above will occur. You may get lucky and find that the thread works well, but you may also find that your “bargain” thread isn’t much of a bargain as you spend a lot of time and lose a lot of money adjusting to the problems the thread causes.

A solution to this problem would be to find a reasonably priced thread that is made to the highest quality standards. It probably would come as no surprise to anyone that we think Iris thread is that thread. Available in polyester and rayon, this thread is durable, colorfast, and runs smoothly. Hilos Iris also makes a metallic thread that is one of the best in the industry. If you’ve given up on metallic machine embroidery thread because of thread breaks and problems with the thread running smoothly, give Iris Dazzling Metallic thread a try.

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