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Thread: Help with Metalic Thread

  1. #1
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Help with Metalic Thread

    I am trying to do some thread painting with metalic thread and the thread keeps breaking, and the thread seems to be pushed down into the fabric. I am sure I have tension issues, but up or down? Also, I saw a post at one time that a lady was telling the needle size/type to use and what worked best for the bobbin thread. Please, I need help!!! I don't have a lot of patience for playing. Or rethreading!! Thinking about doing it by hand, it is that frustrating to me!!!!
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

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    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    I recently saw a Fons and Porter show, and a man, Eric something, was talking about thread. He mentioned metallic thread and said that since it was a flat thread that you had to have the spool standing up, not parallel to the machine. How is your thread positioned? If it's laying down, it might help to bring the spool up. Hth, Gina

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    Spool of thread should be standing up; I put mine in a coffee cup and up and over the machine. Make sure it doesn't get close to the take up wheel or it could get tangled. You can also use Microtec needles too those will help. Go to emblibrary.com to see their videos. I'd try like a size 90 needle,
    Judy

  4. #4
    Junior Member bobbiesboutique's Avatar
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    Ive also been using metallic thread to decorate some bug jars for my daughters quilt. I have put a thin layer of fleece batting on the back side of the jars for 3D effect But I think it is also working somewhat as a stabalizer for all the thread work and quilting since I havent yet pieced them together or sandwhiched it yet I started using a 90/14 heavy duty needle it worked great, Im using the spool up and down, supreme slider and I believe my feed dogs are still up because the slider covers them and I think when you lower them you start to have more issues with your machine make sure the thread isnt getting caught on something along the path I keep my spools on a stand slightly to the side/back of my machine I hope I could help.

  5. #5
    Junior Member bobbiesboutique's Avatar
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    I also just read that metallica or metafil needles have a nonstick coating in the eye to reduce friction with metallic threads, but topstitch needles are great also because they have an eye that is flatter across the top helps to prevent fraying and keeps glitzy threads from curling and breaking - Libby Lehman.

  6. #6
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the quick responses. I did have the thread laying paralell, but stood it up. My Janome has a spot for that, but maybe I will try my self standing thread holder. I am also going to go get some different needles. I knew I had seen something about metalic threads.. Now I remember, I have the show taped witht he guy using the metalic threads!! I will pop that up and watch it tonight!! Thank goodness for the DirecTV recording system!!
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  7. #7
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike'sgirl View Post
    I recently saw a Fons and Porter show, and a man, Eric something, was talking about thread. He mentioned metallic thread and said that since it was a flat thread that you had to have the spool standing up, not parallel to the machine. How is your thread positioned? If it's laying down, it might help to bring the spool up. Hth, Gina
    I saw that show too. I think the flat thread he was using was not the traditional metallic thread. Superior has a flat metallic called Glitter which I have used with no problem. Their traditional metallic is wonderful. I use a topstitch needle, turn down the tension and use a thread stand so the thread flows freely. Here is a link to Superiors info about metallic. http://www.superiorthreads.com/product/Fiber/metallic/

    BTW Metallic needles and topstitch needles are pretty much identical. Long eye is the important part

  8. #8
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I use metallic threads in an upright position; Metallic, Metafil, or Metallica needles size 90/14 (they all have a longer, smoother eye, but I prefer Schmetz); tension at 2 or 3; and stitch length at 2.5 to 3. Metallic needles are smoother than topstitch needles, thus reducing the chances of breaking even further. Once I settled on these settings, they have worked for me perfectly ever since.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

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    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    The only thing I would add to the explanation is a thread stand behind the machine!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    I use metallic threads in an upright position; Metallic, Metafil, or Metallica needles size 90/14 (they all have a longer, smoother eye, but I prefer Schmetz); tension at 2 or 3; and stitch length at 2.5 to 3. Metallic needles are smoother than topstitch needles, thus reducing the chances of breaking even further. Once I settled on these settings, they have worked for me perfectly ever since.
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

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    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike'sgirl View Post
    I recently saw a Fons and Porter show, and a man, Eric something, was talking about thread. He mentioned metallic thread and said that since it was a flat thread that you had to have the spool standing up, not parallel to the machine. How is your thread positioned? If it's laying down, it might help to bring the spool up. Hth, Gina
    I saw the show too and thought it was very informative. I also use a product I get at JAF called "All-Purpose Sewer's Aid. The instruction on the bottle is: "For best results, apply sparingly. Use as often as necessary. Ideal for thread, needles. scissors and other sewing tools". All the edges are zig zag with metallic. I also have found that the quality of your metallic thread also is important.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammysharon View Post
    The only thing I would add to the explanation is a thread stand behind the machine!!!
    Just out of curiosity, is there really any difference between using the upright spool holder on the machine (Bernina) and a separate thread stand sitting behind the machine? I don't use cones, so I haven't seen any need for a stand, but may reconsider if there's some real advantage to it. Thanks for any info.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  12. #12
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Okay - metallic thread gets warm feeding through all the places it goes on the machine and then it stretches and breaks. So I've been told to keep the spool of thread in a coffee mug a bit behind the machine. Make sure you are using a metallic thread needle and go slow. Also, if your thread is old it might break more easily. Hope this helps.

  13. #13
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    If the thread is not cross wound, you should not be putting it on a thread stand or in a coffee mug behind the machine. Stack wound threads need to feed off the side of the spool to keep them from twisting. A metallic needle helps a whole bunch too.

  14. #14
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
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    What I found works best for ME with metallic thread is slowing the machine
    speed down as much as you can, and using a SHARP large eye needle.

    The large eye needles have a deeper "groove" for the metallic thread "glide"
    through. At least this is what I have recently learned from watching a Quilting
    Arts program on PBS and it was Libby Lehman who discussed the different
    needles and machine feet etc.

    I have also heard that putting the metallic thread in the freezer for about 15
    minutes helps, but I have not tried this yet.
    Louise - Ya-ya to Zachary April 13 2015. I collect mugs from the U.S. and around the world. Also collect handmade pincushions, sewing/quilting themed fabrics, and fabric in general.

  15. #15
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    The other needle that works well with metallic thread is a top stitching needle. It has a longer eye and a longer grove. Whenever I use metallic thread in my embroidery machine I use a top stitching needle now - works great.
    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Only place to buy in town is WalMart and they didn't have any top stitching or metalic needles. I bought a pkg of titanium needles, cause it said they help with thread breakage. It took longer to break!! But it still broke So maybe the heat thing IS part of the problem. Maybe an auxiliary cooling system on the thread path? LOL I am going to keep working on it. I usually give up by now. NOT THIS TIME. Thank you for all the great tips.
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  17. #17
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
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    A Topstitch needle is pretty much the same thing as a Sharp Large Eye needle.

    I usually buying Organ needles from Allstitch.net because I can get them in bulk
    (by the 100).

    I ALMOST only use a sharp large eye needle or the titanium sharp large eye.
    For me I have found that this is a good needle and I have far less issues with
    them than I do any other style of needle.

    Just my personal preferences though. I know some people may not agree with
    me, but this is what I found with all my trial and errors and 6 years of working
    with my home embroidery machines.







    Quote Originally Posted by eparys View Post
    The other needle that works well with metallic thread is a top stitching needle. It has a longer eye and a longer grove. Whenever I use metallic thread in my embroidery machine I use a top stitching needle now - works great.
    Louise - Ya-ya to Zachary April 13 2015. I collect mugs from the U.S. and around the world. Also collect handmade pincushions, sewing/quilting themed fabrics, and fabric in general.

  18. #18
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for all the help. I finished my thread painting, and it came out nice. I found that the titanium needle, very loose top tension, and a s l o w speed helped a lot. For some reason, the blue, which was also the first color I chose to do, was the worst. The gold and the red went quite smoothly, with the above suggestions. I am going to continue to work on this art and see if I can't master it. LOL Thank you so much for all the assistance. I knew I could count on you guys!!
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

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