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Choosing Machine Embroidery Thread

28th June 2010

Choosing Machine Embroidery Thread

posted in Thread |

There are a lot of reasons that machine embroiderers choose to use the thread that they use.  Some people use the thread that came with their machine, on the theory,  I would guess,  that the people who sold the machine must know which thread will work best on it.   Other people tend to purchase the thread that has a name they’ve heard,  probably because  they figure a name that’s heard often and seen everywhere must denote a popular thread.   There are those who buy thread based on the advice of friends or colleagues who happen to use and like a particular thread.  Then, of course, there are the people that select the thread they use based on cost,  and who are always looking for a better price per cone.

EnMart, or rather our parent company Ensign Emblem,  has a lot of experience in selecting thread.  Over the 30+ years the company has been in business,  we’ve probably used thread from every major brand.  We have gone through the pain of converting colors from one brand to another.  We’ve dealt with the chaos that comes from discovering that a thread that look great on paper doesn’t work so well in reality.   The company has tried thread based on recommendations from those we know and trust,  and we’ve also looked at thread purely from the standpoint of how much it cost us per cone.   As the years,  and the threads,  have come and gone,  we’ve learned a few things about how to choose and embroidery thread.

The first thing we learned, as has already been mentioned in another blog post, is the high cost of cheap thread.  Saving a couple cents or a couple dollars per cone looks very attractive when all you’re looking at is the actual physical money that isn’t leaving your pocket.  The problem is that they money you save on purchasing the thread is probably going to be lost in overtime costs,  increased production costs and reduced quality of your stitch-outs.  I’m not going to claim that more expensive thread equals better thread,  because that isn’t always the case,  but I will say that thread that’s being sold for just a few dollars probably is that cheap because it didn’t cost much to make, and so may be lacking in quality.

The second thing we learned is that the best way to determine if a thread is right for you is to try it.  Most companies,  EnMart included,  will provide a sample of the thread they sell so that prospective customers can try it.  Samples should be run in the normal environment of your shop on the sorts of jobs you would normally do.  You want to determine if the thread will work in the conditions that will exist during day to day production.

The third and perhaps most important thing we learned is that you need to pay attention to all the characteristics of the thread,  not just one.  Machine embroidery thread needs to be colorfast,  it needs to have good tensile strength, and it needs to run consistently in your machines.     If the thread runs when it gets washed,  or fades quickly, you’ll be getting a lot of orders back from your customers.   If it lacks tensile strength,  you’ll lose a lot of production time fixing thread breaks.   If you get inconsistent results when the thread runs through your machine you’ll have to spend more time watching the machine and more time adjusting the digitizing of your designs and the tension on your machines to adjust to the inconsistencies in the thread.

Obviously,  since we use and sell it,  we think the best thread and the right thread for you is Iris thread and I’m not going to try and be disingenuous and pretend otherwise.   If you’ve met us at a show,  you probably already have a sample of the thread and have hopefully given it a try.  If not,  contact us and we’ll be happy to send you a sample.  We’re confident,  one you try it,  Iris thread will become your machine embroidery thread of choice.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 10:03 am and is filed under Thread. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There is currently one response to “Choosing Machine Embroidery Thread”

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  1. 1 On August 18th, 2010, Carol L. Wojtecki said:

    I have sewn Isacord for many years. I would like to try a sample of Iris Thread. Please mail to
    Colorful Threads Embroidery

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