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Bring Iris Quilting Thread to Your Town

15th January 2014

Bring Iris Quilting Thread to Your Town

iris-ultra-cotton-quilting-thread-LOne of the questions I’ve been answering a lot lately is the question about where Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread can be purchased.   It’s kind of a complicated question as there’s more than one factor to be considered when answering.    If you’re a retail store,  or run a long arm quilting business with a tax i.d. number,  you may purchase the Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread from us on our website.    Anyone who is not connected to a retail store,  or running a quilting business may not purchase from us directly.   This keeps us from trespassing on our retail customers’ territories,  and allows us to keep our agreements with the thread manufacturer.

So, then,  what do you do if you’re not a retail store or a quilting business with a tax i.d. and you still want to purchase the thread?   Your best option at that point would be to go to a quilt store in your area that carries the thread and purchase it there.    We are always expanding our quilt store customer base, and we’ll always be happy to let you know of any quilt stores in your area that carry Iris thread.

If there is a quilt store in your area that carries Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread,  then your problem is solved.  If not,  you can help bring the thread to your location.    If you have a favorite local quilt store that you think should carry Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread,  let us know.  Give us a call,  leave us a message on the EnMart Facebook page,  send us a Tweet,  leave a comment on this blog post,  or send us an e-mail.   When you contact us,  let us know who you are,  and give us the store information,  including location,  telephone number,  website and contact name.   When we contact the store,  we’ll let them know that you recommended they carry the thread.  Once they’ve sampled the thread,  we’re sure they’ll want to add it to their inventory,  and you’ll have a ready source of Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread nearby.  Everyone wins!

posted in About EnMart, Shop EnMart, Thread | Comments Off

17th December 2013

Glow In the Dark Thread is Back!

We know that many of you like our UltraGlow glow in the dark thread,  so we were not happy when the thread had to be put on Sold Out status due to a backorder situation.   We are pleased to report that problem has been resolved.   Not only do we have the original 6 colors back in stock,  but we have 4 new colors added to the mix.   The new colors are quite exciting.



The first new color is Chartreuse,  which is a kind of lime green.  This color would look great with any type of embroidery with neon thread colors.




The second new color is pink.  It’s more of a hot pink than the picture indicates.  This is another color that would work well with any neon embroidery.   This is an attention getting color,  and the pink will really stand out when it glows.



Our next color selection is a darker green, more of a lime green.  This is the perfect Halloween color,  great for spooky aliens and the glowing eyes of a black cat.   I think, of all our glow in the dark colors,  this is probably the one color people think of when they think of glow in the dark thread.




Finally,  we have beige.  Now I have to admit,  beige isn’t a color your mind immediately goes to when thinking of a color that should glow in the dark,  but it’s a nice neutral.   Sometimes a good basic neutral is what you need and in those times,  our beige glow in the dark thread would fill the bill.

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12th November 2013

Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread

iris-ultra-cotton-quilting-thread-LYesterday,  on the SubliStuff blog,  I talked about FabricMaker,  our fabric printing system which can be used to create personalized and unique fabric for quilts and other sewn items.    Since I started talking about products that could be used with quilts on that blog,  it seemed only logical to continue the conversation on this blog by introducing our Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread.

As many of you already know,  EnMart is the exclusive commercial distributor in the United States for Iris UltraBrite Polyester Machine Embroidery Thread.   We also offer a variety of specialty threads,  like our popular metallic thread,  or our fabulous solar active thread.    We have always been proud to carry Iris thread,  a brand known for quality and colorfulness,  so we were excited when Hilos Iris told us they were bringing out a line of cotton quilting thread.

Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread is a very high quality 100% long staple Egyptian cotton quilting thread.  It is currently available in 19 solid colors and 9 variegated colors.    The solids are sold in 3,000 yd and 500 yd cones.   The variegated colors are sold in 2,500 and 400 yd cones.    We introduced this thread at the 2013 Quilt Market in Houston and the initial response has been very positive.    We were told that the thread was comparable to King Tut thread,  but that our price point was much better.

This is a high quality thread,  perfect for any type of quilting, including long arm quilting.   It is double mercerized and gassed,  very low lint,  and made from long staple Egyptian cotton.    The thread is smooth and lustrous  and offers a durable color that will keep your heirloom quality quilts looking their best wash after wash.

posted in Hilos Iris, Thread | Comments Off

29th May 2013

The Story of EnMart Part 2: Iris Thread

h_iris_logo newWe all know machine embroidery thread has changed over the years.   When Ensign Emblem started in 1974,  there range of choices wasn’t as large as it is now.   Over the years,  Ensign has probably embroidered with almost every thread still on the market today,  as well as some that no longer are sold.   The company has embroidered with cotton thread,  nylon thread,   polyester thread,  rayon thread and struggled,  like every other embroidery company out there,  with color fastness issues,  thread break issues,  and thread related production issues.    The search for a thread that worked better for the company’s purposes was a constant thing.

Iris machine embroidery thread actually came to our notice because we were looking for a new merrow floss supplier.   For those who don’t know,  merrow floss  is the thread used to create the borders on our emblems and,  for our purposes it needs to be strong,  washfast,  and colorfast.  It also needs to be able to withstand high heat and not sublimate.   The merrow floss we were using when Hilos Iris came to our attention was not meeting our needs,  and the available options of which we were aware were either ones we’d already tried or not appealing.  A new source opened up new options and, after working with Hilos Iris,  got us a merrow floss that met our requirements.    Once we had the merrow floss in place,  it was a short jump to someone saying “Have you tried our machine embroidery thread?”  and Iris UltraBrite Polyester and Smooth ‘N Silky Rayon entered our lives.

Ensign Emblem and Hilos Iris worked together for about six months to create a machine embroidery thread that met Ensign’s needs.   The thread had to be strong,  durable,  washfast and colorfast, able to withstand high heat so the color wouldn’t sublimate and available  at a price point that was reasonable.   We also needed a standard set of available colors as well as the ability to have specialty colors dyed and stocked.  Hilos Iris already had a color card for their polyester thread with 300 colors,  and they had a state of the art dye house which made creating custom colors possible.   In October of 2007,  Ensign Emblem’s President,  Gayle Zreliak,  recorded her memories of her visit to the Hilos Iris facility on the EnMart blog.  After working together and after that visit,  it became apparent the two companies had a great deal in common.  Like Ensign Emblem,  Hilos Iris was family owned.  Both companies had been successful for a number of years.   Each company had a commitment to quality.    As Hilos and Ensign worked together to create a better machine embroidery thread,  a partnership was formed.  Since Hilos Iris,  based in Mexico,  had been looking for a way to break into the U.S. Market,  it wasn’t much of a step for discussions about how Ensign could be part of that goal.

posted in About EnMart, Hilos Iris, Thread | Comments Off

26th September 2012

New Specialty Threads From EnMart

EnMart is proud to announce that we have added two new specialty threads to our website.   One of these is a thread that many customers have asked for over the last few years.   The other is a thread that we thought was fun and unique.

The first new thread is EnMart’s UltraGlow Glow in the Dark Thread.    This thread is 100% polyester and,  as the name implies,  glows in the dark.    It is available in six colors,  and does not,  as some threads do,  glow with the radioactive green glow that you often see in pictures of glow in the dark thread.  The glow of these threads echoes the color of the threads in their non glowing state.    To make the threads glow,  they must be exposed to sunlight or house light.   The glow can last for hours if the thread is put into complete darkness.    This is a fun thread for kids clothes, and certainly for Halloween decorations or costumes.    We know that a lot of people have been wanting us to add this thread to our product line,  so I’m happy to announce it is now available.

The second new thread is EnMart’s Sunsational  Solar Active Thread.  This thread is designed to change color when exposed to sunlight.   In the absence of sun,  the thread appears white or a relatively light color.   When exposed to sunlight,  the thread changes to a more vivid color.    The color change will last up to 6,000 times,  which is most likely the life of the garment.  Sunsational thread is available in 5 colors.

EnMart does add new products on a fairly frequent basis.  If you want to keep updated about what’s being added or what’s on the drawing board,  you can subscribe to this blog, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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1st August 2012

The Company that Thread Built

I may have told this story before,  but not for a while, I think,  so today seemed like a good day to tell it again.   It’s a story I tell several times at every trade show I work,  mostly because people always ask why we sell the thread we sell and use the thread we use.  For those who are new to this blog or to EnMart,  the thread we use is called Iris Thread, manufactured by a company called Hilos Iris.   We started using the thread in 2007,  and the company that sells it,  EnMart, was officially formed and named late that same year.

People who are not familiar with the thread often ask us why we chose to work with Iris Thread when there were other more well known brands that we could have used.   The answer to that is simple.   Our parent company, Ensign Emblem,  has been in business since 1974.   Over the years we’ve embroidered millions of emblems and used tons of thread.   You name a brand,  at some point it has likely run on our machines.    We’ve tried them all and, in the end,  discovered that Iris Thread suited our needs best.   Iris thread simply works.

Why does Iris work for us,  and why will it work for you?  There are a couple of reasons.  First,  the Iris UltraBrite Polyester is durable.  In our experience it has less thread breaks than other threads.  It is also wash fast and color fast.   If you work with garments that are going to be washed time and time again,  or exposed to harsher washing conditions,  that’s an important point.   The Iris poly thread also has a great sheen,  something that was historically only available from rayon thread.   Finally, there’s the color palette.  299 colors from light to dark and soft to vibrant.

I also can’t forget to mention Iris Dazzling Metallic Thread,  the thread that turns metallic thread haters into metallic thread lovers.    As many of you already know,  sewing with metallic thread can be a challenge.   Iris metallic thread greatly reduces that challenge.  I can’t tell you how many people have tried a sample of our metallic thread,  and then told me how great the thread was and that they’d never use another metallic thread after using ours.    Quality shows,  and our metallic thread is built to sew smoothly and add a pop of sparkle and shine to your designs.

We all know that it’s your choice what thread you choose to use and that I could go on for several more paragraphs and still not change your mind about what’s currently running on your machine.  The proof is in the pudding,  or in this case the thread,  and so I invite you all to request a sample of our Iris poly thread or our Iris metallic thread and see for yourself.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain,  so contact us and ask for your sample to be sent today.

posted in About EnMart, Thread | Comments Off

14th March 2012

Kudos for Iris Metallic Thread

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know that I’ve often talked about the greatness of Iris Metallic Thread.  It’s the thread that can turn metallic thread haters into metallic thread lovers, I’ve seen it happen.    One of the most fun things is to give out samples of the thread and watch people look skeptical.  Then they take the sample home and we subsequently get an e-mail or a phone call or see that person at a trade show and get an earful about how wonderful the Iris Metallic thread runs and how it has completely changed the embroiderer’s attitude about metallic thread.

Don’t take my word for it;  just look at the glowing comments on the EnMart Facebook page.

Laura-Ann Quin It really does make a WORLD of difference… I know i have an inexpensive machine but your thread make it sew like an expensive one. I get almost no breaks with your threads. … and anyone thinking METALLIC.. USE THERES!.. it’s so amazing.

Rusty Pullen Great metallic thread!

Monica Lau Hernandez I love the gold metallic! it rocks…. I am ready to buy some and get silver too! loved your sample!

Erich Campbell It’s really fantastic stuff. I used it in this piece, one of many! -> Acanthus Hoodie

Lori Messelt Gertz Thanks for the samples I used the gold today and it stitched well

Erich Campbell You have to show the metallic. It’s pretty impressive. After James Auclair tuned our machines, it was amazing running that metallic- with properly running machines and good thread, it’s a joy to run. :)

Thanks to everyone who has left us a comment to let us know how much they like the thread.   If you’re sewing with metallic and frustrated,  EnMart can help.   Just contact us and ask for a metallic sample.  We’ll be glad to send you one.

posted in Thread | 3 Comments

26th October 2011

A New, Lower Price on Mini King Cones

EnMart is pleased to announce we have reduced the price on our 1100 yard Iris UltraBrite mini king cones.  These cones of Iris Thread still offer the same great color,  terrific shine and will run smoothly and with minimal thread breaks in any commercial or home embroidery machine.  The only thing that has changed is the price,  which has been reduced to $2.35 per cone.

Iris UltraBrite Polyester Thread is known for its shine,  which is courtesy of the Dupont trilobal polyester fibers used in the thread construction,  and for it’s strength.   The thread runs smoothly in both commercial and home embroidery machines,  and generally has very few thread breaks.    The high tenacity and low elongation also eliminate looping.   Iris poly thread is durable enough to withstand an industrial wash and dry yet offers enough colors to be suitable for your most delicate and colorful embroidery.

The 1100 yard mini king cones are an ideal size if you want to try a new color or add colors that you will only use rarely to your existing inventory.  The high quality of Iris thread allows it to be used at very high machine speeds to embroider leather, jackets, towels, hats, caps, bags, and more, with any monogram, decoration, or other embroidery design.   If you’re looking for high quality in a thread that allows for high production rates,  look no further than Iris thread.

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31st August 2011

Different Thread for Different Needs

Whenever we do a trade show,  someone inevitably asks me what all the different threads we display are for.   In our booth at the NNEP shows this year we had polyester machine embroidery thread,  rayon machine embroidery thread,  metallic thread,  variegated thread,  and merrow thread.   About the only thing we didn’t showcase was our monofilament thread.

Since I always seem to get asked this question at every show,  I thought it might be a good idea to do a blog post which would talk a little bit about the different threads we sell and the purposes for which they might be used.   Think of it as a guide to the threads of EnMart and hopefully a bit of help for you when you’re deciding which thread you need to buy.

First up is polyester thread.  This machine embroidery thread is available in 5500 yd king cones and 1100 yd mini king spools.   Iris UltraBrite polyester thread is durable, washfast and colorfast.  It can be bleached.   This it the thread our parent company uses to embroider emblems for industrial laundries.  It’s tough stuff but,  due to the trilobal polyester fibers used in the thread construction,  it also has a shine that many polyester threads can’t match.

Second, we have rayon thread.  Rayon used to be the standard when it came to machine embroidery thread,  and it still is for many people.   Iris Smooth N’ Silky Rayon has a deep shine and rich color,  which makes it an ideal thread for delicate embroidery.    Rayon thread must be washed and handled carefully, and is not ideal for embroidery that might be exposed to a variety of conditions.

Third we have metallic thread,  which is available in both silver and gold as well as colored metallics.   This thread is a terrific accent thread,  and will add sparkle and shine to your designs.    Unlike a lot of metallic threads,  Iris Dazzling Metallics can be sewn at normal speeds and do not require a special needle.   If you want to see how metallic thread can be used,  check out this article from Stitches Magazine about 2012 trends.     The embroidery was done by Black Duck Inc,  but the metallic thread is from EnMart.

Fourth on the list is polyester variegated thread.   Although I love the shine of our Iris polyester thread,  and the sparkle of our metallics,  variegated thread may be my favorite.   I love how all the colors mix together to form a harmonious whole on the spool.    The thread also looks terrific when sewn out as an accent for a design.    Our variegated thread is also great for quilting.

Fifth is our merrow floss.  This thread is used in a merrow machine and is what creates the colorful border around our blank patches.   I’m often asked, mostly by people who are attracted by the color and shine of the thread,  if merrow floss can be used in an ordinary embroidery machine.   My answer is generally no.  While I’ve heard people talk of trying it,  I’ve never heard of anyone doing it and, in any case,  merrow thread is designed to be run in a merrow machine.

Finally, we come to our monofilament thread,   which isn’t glamorous,  but can be very useful.  Monofilament thread is generally used in conjunction with merrow thread.   This is a great thread when you want stitches or seams to be as invisible as possible.    It can also be used when you want to add sequins or pearls or other decoration to a garment.

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12th July 2011

Rounding Out Your Color Palette

At EnMart,  we talk a lot about the core colors because those are the colors our customers use most often,  and the colors that will need to be converted first when someone switches from one thread brand to another.  Core colors are why we developed things like the Dynamic Dozen,  we know that making it easy to convert the colors you use most often will make it easier to make the switch to Iris thread.   The other side of the conversion coin,  however,  is the fact that we have a wide variety of fabulous colors of polyester and rayon machine embroidery thread and,  with all the color possibilities before you,  it can pay to round out your inventory by stocking some of the lesser known but very pretty and very useful colors we have available.

One thing to always consider is the variety of shades of a particular color that may be available.  Let’s take red for instance.   From brick red to foxy red to neon red the options for red thread vary widely.   Add red metallic thread or our sunset variegated thread and you can create tonal embroidery that has a wide spectrum of shades of red included.    We have an array of shades available in the primary colors,  red, green, blue and yellow,  as well as in secondary colors like pink, purple and brown.

Another thing to remember when considering your color palette is that our thread colors are matched to PMS color number.   Our thread conversion engine allows you to search for colors using a PMS number.   All the Iris thread colors are Pantone certified so you can be sure they will match with the Pantone color for which you’re searching.    This will definitely come in handy for companies that require their logos to be sewn out with specific colors,  or for times when a customer comes in with a Pantone swatch requesting a match to that color.

It also pays to remember that a unique shade can make your embroidery pop and stand out in the crowded marketplace.   Maybe you use a neon green or a neon orange to make your embroidery vibrant.      Perhaps you decide on a more unique, rarely used shade like Erin Green or Lt. Aquamarine Blue to catch the eye of passers by.    Colored metallic thread is also a terrific way to add visual interest to your embroidery designs.   A unique shade  or a touch of sparkle and glamor can help make an ordinary piece of embroidery into something extraordinary.

The biggest thing to remember when choosing thread colors and building your thread inventory is that there is much more available beyond the standard black, white,  red and green.    Adding some shades of color,  or some specialty thread like variegated or metallic thread can add a whole knew dimension to your embroidery.


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