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Thread: Metallic thread?

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Someone gave me a suggestion on using silver metallic thread for my quilt to give it an extra dimension. I'm interested in maybe using it, but I don't know the first thing about metallic thread. Like what are the best brands, who carries it, where can I buy it, how should you sew with it, etc?

  2. #2
    Senior Member DawnMarie's Avatar
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    One thing that I've noticed about metallic thread is that it breaks and unravels easily. When I use it now, I slow my machine down. The thread seems to hold up better on a slow speed.
    I'm not sure what brand I have, but I got it at Hobby Lobby, so it's probably not the best one out there.

  3. #3
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    make sure you use a needle designed for metallic thread. They have a bigger eye, I think that eliminates fraying and breaking as there is less friction.

  4. #4
    Super Member quilt queen 2's Avatar
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    I have used a lot of metallic thread and find I don't have a problem when I slow down and I always use a metafil needle ( made for metallics) Most of my metallic thread is Guterman and Sulkey Sliver The Sliver thread is really sparkley but I love them both! Just got one from Superior Threads but haven't used it yet. Hope this helps

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The best info for metallic thread is here:

    http://www.superiorthreads.com/videos/chapter1/

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I prefer to use a matching cotton thread in the bobbin, instead of the mettalic too.

  7. #7
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    The best metalic thread I've ever worked with is made by Robinson-Anton. I just finished some embroidery with it and it was perfect. I am careful to chose a design that the stitching does not over lap much. Satin stitching can cause more breakage. I also use a metalic needle.

  8. #8
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I prefer to use a matching cotton thread in the bobbin, instead of the mettalic too.
    Do you mean bobbin thread that's in the same color range as the metallic thread (like a grey for silver thread) or have your thread match the fabric you're stitching on top of?

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    I use a neutral in the bobbin. I think I remember your quilt having a lot of black so a black in the bobbin would work well (70 wt). A metalfil needle is a must. I've had really good luck with Sulky. I'll check on the others. You do need to be careful on cheap metallic thread out there. Some is very brittle. Definitely slow down to reduce shredding. You might want to make a "scrap" sandwich and test drive a little to make sure you have the right feel. I occasionally find some metallics feed better off an upright spool holder (my normal is vertical). If you have a lot of trouble with curl on your thread you can take it off the machine and put it in a jar next to the machine to give it a longer length to relax a little. I've even seen ladies repurpose spice bottles with the holes at the top to help with this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    I'll echo what's been said - good quality thread like Sulky or Superior, Metafil or Metallica needle, slow down, and you might have to loosen the tension a bit.

    Another option if you have trouble with metallic thread is one of the trilobal polyesters in a color that looks like silver. I've used some called Metrosene and another Poly-X. It's shiny although not metallic, but I find it runs with fewer problems.

  11. #11
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    Robison-Anton, Madeira, and Sulky are all good brands. Be sure to have the spool sitting vertically and reduce your top tension 1 or 2 numbers. Do a test to see if you are getting a balanced stitch.

    Also, if possible use a Metallic needle and sew slowly. Metallic thread really adds a nice touch, so go for it :thumbup:

  12. #12
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    What if you can't find a metallic needle? Is there a "next best option"?

  13. #13
    k3n
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    What if you can't find a metallic needle? Is there a "next best option"?
    I just finished some FMQ on some place mats with Superior metallic and had a few tension issues and had to unpick - I just realised that I forgot to change my needle so had my regular 75/11 piecing needle in there! :oops: :lol: So my advice would be definitely get some metallic needles - I use Schmetz metallic 90/14 (when I remember!) I only use Superior, I woudn't trust anything else but then I've never tried another brand sooo... :mrgreen: Two more tips - don't put the top thread through the last guide before the needle, and if you can lay your spool in a pot at the same height as the spool holder (I have a little drawer unit that I open and lay the trhead in there), on it's side so the thread comes off the top of the spool, it puts a lot less strain on the thread. I also had the metallic in the bobbin and no problems- they say to reduce your tension right down but mine is fine on 2.5. Experiment on scraps til your happy with the balance. For FMQ you have to go a bit slower - I find it's more prone to eyelash if I swoop too quickly round corners. :-D

  14. #14
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    What if you can't find a metallic needle? Is there a "next best option"?
    Yes, you can use a 90/14 top stitching needle. It has a larger eye than a regular needle. :wink:

  15. #15
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I just thought of this, but can you wash things with metallica thread in them?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    I just thought of this, but can you wash things with metallica thread in them?
    Yes once it is stitched it will hold up to washing but aI woudlnt recomend a whole lot of them. friction will definately cause it to fray some on the tops

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