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Thread: Thread in an Embroidery Machine? Really that picky?

  1. #1
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Thread in an Embroidery Machine? Really that picky?

    Next newbie question. When I was gifted the Babylock Ellegante, I also got two BIG boxes of embroidery thread. Some of its Metro, some is I think an ‘off brand’, some is ISO something or other. About half is brand new. The Babylock dealer warns me to use only recommended thread like Brother, Mettler or Floriani... and particularly warned me about using ‘Ebay’ thread. Yet I have all this other thread that came with the machine...

    What do I do? I seriously can’t afford to replace all that thread. Plus the original owner used it in the machine? Are Embroidery machines really that picky? What are the usual ‘symptoms’ you get when a machine doesn’t ‘like’ the thread? Maybe my dealer just wants me to buy expensive thread from them? I hope and assume that there’s a way to tell when it’s a thread issue and not a hooping or stabilizer issue?

    For the record... I use Guitermann thread for sewing projects, coats and Clark machine cotton for piecing. I see online that there are many ‘Brother’ Embroidery threads for sale... but if read carefully, they are off brand. Somebody must be able to use them, since lots are sold... ? What thread do you find that works well with your embroidery machines?

    Any advice will be appreciated.
    Babylock Ellegante, Babylock Evolve, Janome MC 4000, post-war Japan 15-91 (Chromed clone), Singers: 501 Rocketeer, 401, 403, 301 short bed w/card table, 301 short bed w/ trapezoid table, 221 Featherweight, 201, several 15-91’s incl a 15-91 blackside, 15-86, 66-6, 66-16, old 15 (1903) Tiffany Treadle, 127 Sphinx Treadle and various other machines that come and go...

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    Of course she wants you to buy her name brand embroidery thread. If the thread works, use it. With that being said however, I wouldn’t want to start a huge embroidery design and have the thread break half way through. For small projects though, I would use it up.

  3. #3
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    Kim, Hold the fort! Umm thread!

    I have used XP Poly which is also called Exquisite now. Floriani thread is probably the one I use most as it matches the design sheets. There is also another drawer of Brother threads that I use for some designs. These are all good threads as are most others easily available.

    The Exquisite and Floriani threads have color charts available that have the actual threads on them. I put a small sticky dot beside each one. Take the chart to store (or on-line) when buying more colors. This method has only resulted in one spool being duplicated in the color drawers. My local dealer sells all of these brands with equal success. Yes there is a difference in thread but try a few spools to see if you and your machine like it.

    To check the thread to see if it is still good take about a 12 inch piece, wrap in your hands and pull. Does it break easily.

    The other issue with thread breakage can be using a wrong needle or using the needle too long. Needles should be replaced about every 8 hours. I had awful issues with thread breakage one day in class. The owner changed out the needle to 80/12 microtex and no more issues.

    Do you use pre-wound bobbins? I use pre-wound bobbins also with no issues. They are cheaper on-line than the LQS. There is more thread wound on the bobbin so less bobbin changes.

    Sometimes sticky stabilizers will cause issues.

    Are you doing OK with hooping techniques?

    Welcome to the world of machine EMB!

  4. #4
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    Another tip:

    Check the height of the EMB foot on your machine. It should set at the default in the settings. Do you have the machine manuals!

  5. #5
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    If the owner before used the thread I would go ahead and use it.

  6. #6
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    I have a Brother Sewing/embroidery machine that is comparable to your Elegante. Your dealer is full of xxxx. I use what they call the Off brand thread. I love, love, love the thread sets from Ebay. It gives you wonderful color choices at a very reasonable price. For colors I use a lot of, I order the large cones of polyester thread from Thread Art when they are on sale which they are right now. https://www.threadart.com/category/4...rs-5000-meters I will tell you that you have to have a thread stand for the cones, but at the price, you can buy a thread stand for less than 15 dollars. Make sure that it is heavy on the bottom. The light weight ones just go everywhere. https://www.createforless.com/Dritz-...901&cadevice=c Also, you may need some of the Thread nets because the thread will pool off. https://www.amazon.com/Embroidery-Ma.../dp/B001U5A0Y0

    I have Neverhad any of the "off brand thread" shred, fade or look bad. I have many friends with Babylock and Brother machines and they use anything they want to. The machines really don't care.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-24-2019 at 04:28 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  7. #7
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    My dealer told me to use what I wanted, and the machine would let me know if it didn't like it. So far I've used quite a bit of "no name" from Amazon and it's working well. BTW - my dealer is a floriani dealer
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  8. #8
    Senior Member donna13350's Avatar
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    I use metro embroidery thread almost exclusively, and there's no problem with it at all. Any dealer that tells you a machine will only work properly with their brand of thread is a "dealer"...pushing their thread...
    As for the "off brands" you mentioned...some of the cheap threads will fade in the sun, or even change color when washed, so I would test them before using them. I've had embroidery machines since the 80's , they usually aren't picky...when you have a problem it's usually operator error..not threading correctly, wrong stabilizer for weight of fabric..a million other things..but thread...not a problem.

  9. #9
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    I have 2 Brother machines, 1 embroidery and sewing combo and 1 embroidery only. I use different brands of thread. Most problems are not caused by the thread.

  10. #10
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    Been there. What I finally did was order a couple spools of thread from different companies to try out. Generally, no issues with any of those brands: ThreadArt, Madeira, Floriani and Brother's. If issues occur, a needle change or re-wind of thread usually takes care of the problem (and I don't stitch at the top speed either). As for the most of the less expensive thread unfortunately I found out they would break often, but you could manage to use it by slowing down your machine.

  11. #11
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    I have been using so many different brands of threads in my Viking/Husqvarna and the only problems I have had were related to the needle or the stabilizer. And I haven't had any of them fade either - but I use Rayon or Polyester and they are not likely to fade.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks everyone. I feel like an idiot... here’s why. When I got the machine, it had a Cone loaded on the main sewing spindle. I assumed that’s what you did. But it flops all over the place when using the machine, as it’s a wider diameter compared to the normal horizontal spindle. Duh. Duh! The uneven flopping around must cause variations in tension on the thread. Need a weighted thread stand. Thanks all...
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-24-2019 at 04:28 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
    Babylock Ellegante, Babylock Evolve, Janome MC 4000, post-war Japan 15-91 (Chromed clone), Singers: 501 Rocketeer, 401, 403, 301 short bed w/card table, 301 short bed w/ trapezoid table, 221 Featherweight, 201, several 15-91’s incl a 15-91 blackside, 15-86, 66-6, 66-16, old 15 (1903) Tiffany Treadle, 127 Sphinx Treadle and various other machines that come and go...

  13. #13
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    You can use the embroidery cones on the spindle. You need a round felt piece on the bottom and a spool cap on the top of the thread. Your dealer should have them available if they are not on your machine.

  14. #14
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    I also started thinking I needed to buy the more recognized names in thread, but decided to take a change on Thread Art because Amazon sells sets of 40 for a reasonable price, and by buying all the sets, we ended up with almost every colour. Then I went to their website and ordered the ones I was missing. They have a Huge number of colours and if there's something you're looking for, you can probably find one that will work. I have hardly ever had a problem, and as others have said, for me one of the key things was to use a titanium embroidery needle, and slow the machine down. I probably run it at half speed, or less most of the time. When I get thread shredding, it's usually a needle change that's needed.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-24-2019 at 04:29 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps

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