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Thread: Metallic thread nightmare!!

  1. #1
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    Metallic thread nightmare!!

    I have just finished a very simple table runner for my DIL for Christmas. The fabric has gold thru out so I figured oh I would use gold thread. I am using a decorative stitch that kinda looks like a snowflake, and I am about ready to jump off a bridge. About every 3rd snowflake the thread breaks. Just the gold thread. I have rethreaded til I am blue in the face. Is there a trick to using this, I am sure I have used it before, but never experienced a problem like this. Its almost as if its shredding. Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much!!!
    Amythyst

  2. #2
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    New needle? right size needle?

  3. #3
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    They make needles especially for metallics. I forget how they are different (I think it is the eye so that the thread doesn't shred) but that would be the first thing I would try. They are readily available wherever machine meedles are sold.

  4. #4
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    Was the thread old - or a decent brand? I'm not pushing any particular brand - but I watched a Bernina 830 go top speed with intensive Christmas Lace ornaments. I watched that machine for a half hour at least. Thread never broke. I bought the brand, think it was YMNET, used it for the same ornaments in my Pfaff 2170. No breaks. I acquired some silver thread from Babylock that behaved the same way. Both were larger spools. I've had trouble with Sulky. Especially old spools.

    The other thing would be to make sure the spool of thread is upright and winding off the spool in the right direction. Use a thread net too if it's needed. Most machines have some kind of adapter for a vertical spool. Brother and Babylock had adapters that went over the bobbin winder, Pfaff has an upright spool holder that fits into a hole in the top of the machine.

  5. #5
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    I watched a video from Bob of Superior Threads and he talks about metallic thread. It may be helpful. It was on YouTube.
    Marilyn

  6. #6
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Shredding sure makes it sound like a needle problem to me.

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    metallics are always tricky. i've found that it works better to put it in the bobbin and sew upside down.
    Nancy in western NY
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  8. #8
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Definitely make sure that you're using a needle intended for metallic thread. Along with the usual brands that have needles listed for metallics, there's another brand that I believe are called "MetaFil" and can be used for both metallics and invisible thread.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Metallic needles have a teflon coated elongated eye, a larger scarf and a larger grove...all to prevent the shredding and/or breakage of metallic thread.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  10. #10
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    Quilting is not as hard on metallic thread as embroidery. That being said....I have a girlfriend that loves to add metallic thread to her embroidery. She will only use Yenmet. Her projects & embroidery are drop-dead gorgeous. She never has thread breakage. I don't know if she uses it only in the top or both top & bottom. This website has great info on the Yenmet metallic thread. http://www.threadetc.com/yenmet.html
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  11. #11
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    Metallic thread does require special handling. What brand of metalic are you using -- the sulky thread has to lay on its side and is the only one I ever have real problems with (but only a couple of colors). When I use metallic thread, I make sure I use a large metallic needle (metallic needs to glide through the needle), I usually use a thread conditioner, I loosen the tension and I go slower than I normally sew. Other than a couple of Sulky colors, I don't get thread shredding.
    QuiltnLady1

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  12. #12
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    Well thanks everyone for all the suggestions. The thread I am using is Gutermann. I am using a regular needle, so I bet that is the issue. I have been going very slow, but the longer I sewed today it did not matter how slow I was going it was still breaking. Going to look for a needle, I am sure I do not have one, so hopefully can find one online.

    Thanks again.
    Amythyst

  13. #13
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    sometimes it helps to use a thread holder farther away from your machine rather than the spool on the machine so the thread has a chance to straighten out. i find that helps me when I use a metallic thread in my emb. machine. here are some hints that might also help:

    http://www.emblibrary.com/el/elproje...oductid=PR1131
    Last edited by bakermom; 10-01-2012 at 10:32 PM. Reason: added link

  14. #14
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    You probably need a metallic needle. It has a specially designed hole, shaft, and is teflon coated so the thread doesn't get too hot and breaks. Also, do not sew at full speed, as that causes too much friction, again causing breakage. Hope you can get it to work for you!

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    Thanks everyone for the info..especially about the sulky thread! i'm not the OP, but have hated using metallic thread for years...have used metallic needles, but always had breaks. the brand has always been sulky! i'll try the yenmet....thank you!!!

  16. #16
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    You need to buy a needle specifically for metallic thread. Also, put the thread in a coffee mug and then feed it through your machine. Go S-L-O-W-L-Y as metallic thread gets hot when you go fast and that can also cause it to break. I tried to quilt a lap quilt with metallic thread and, like you, was ready to throw out my machine! Then I changed the backing from flannel to cotton and following all my suggestions above, it worked beautifully. Sulky recommends a 14/90 needle. Give that a try and good luck.

  17. #17
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    Use a needle made for metallic thread; can't remember the name. Also the Floriani lady said that she has great success with metallic threads because she turns the spool upside down either in cup or stand up spool. Its something about the way the thead comes off the spool when it's upside down that makes it work.
    Judy

  18. #18
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    Buy some Sew Slick from Clotilde and put it on your thread. Sew slow, use the correct needles.

  19. #19
    Super Member Ruby the Quilter's Avatar
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    A thread lubricant will help alot. with breakage. Should be able to buy it where embroidery machines are sold.

    I have even used it on the thread on my long arm when breakage was a problem. Great stuff.
    Quilting in the Desert

  20. #20
    Junior Member dressmakergurl's Avatar
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    The solution to embroidering with metallics is: I put the thread on a thread holder on the other side of the room, and let it unspool as I embroider. This was told to me and I started using my metallics this way, and mine doesn't break anymore. I have 2 machines on opposite sides of the room. I put my meatllic on the machine that is fartherest away. Run to other machin and thread as usual. It has something to do with the thread being able to loosen up and unwind befroe it goes thru the tension. Good Luck..

  21. #21
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    So taking your advice about the needle, I checked and of course I do not have one. So rather than jumping in my car and rushing to JoAnn's which is a good drive away, I called. And they don't have them!!!! Glad I did not just hop right over there. Going to check the LQS this morning, other wise I am going to have to order it online. I am amazed JoAnn's does not have them. I will order some sew slick too, since I am probaby going to have to order online,

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help!!
    Amythyst

  22. #22
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Use a metallic needle for a start. Then be sure to use a bit of Sewer's Aid - a drop on the spool and a scant drop on the needle.
    Krystyna
    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

  23. #23
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Metallic needles have a teflon coated elongated eye, a larger scarf and a larger grove...all to prevent the shredding and/or breakage of metallic thread.

    I was also told by someone in retail (LQS) that you need a metallic needle for metallic thread. I agree, I believe they are coated with teflon to prevent fraying (your problem), so would be worth a try.
    Dance like no one is watching

  24. #24
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    I always had trouble with metalic thread until I found the yenmet brand my machines love it and it sews so smooth expensive but if you like metalic it is worth the price

  25. #25
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    Have you tried changing the position of your thread? I used gold metallic thread and used the thread spool in a vertical position. Also used a organ needle I use for machine embroidery. A bigger eye on the needle prevents less friction and less breakage. Sewing slower may help prevent breakage as well. (?)

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