August 2017

Top 5 Things to Know About Using
Cotton Thread With Your Embroidery Machine

  1. Choosing cotton allows for more choice over the look and feel of your project. Vintage looking designs, like the new Scout Collection by Cotton+Steel for OESD are popular and cotton thread is essential for that look. Additionally, cotton thread is available in more weights than most synthetic fiber threads so you can choose looks that are bolder or more subtle than the typical 40 Wt. thread used in most embroidery designs.

  2. Knowing what weight a design was digitized for is very important. It is possible to use a different weight thread with any design, but some modification is required. If you choose a lighter weight thread you might need to increase the design density. Conversely, if you increase the thread weight you might need to decrease the design density. There is no exact formula for this, so it is important to test sew first.

  3. Be sure the thread you choose is of the highest quality, like Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky. The label should denote “Long Staple” and the country of origin should be clearly marked and of a place known for making quality products. Combined, these qualities ensure there are fewer “break points” in the thread as well as less lint build up and you will notice the difference.

  4. Needle selection and sewing speed are super important for achieving success. Natural fibers are typically not as strong as synthetic fibers, but that does not mean they are not suitable for the project. Using a needle with a larger eye, such as a Topstitch needle will help reduce the amount of tension on the thread. Topstitch needles also have larger gauges available than most embroidery needles. Additionally, slowing down the machine speed will reduce tension on the thread and will result in far less thread breaks.

  5. Quilting with your embroidery machine is possible and cotton is typically the thread of choice. That’s right, many in the hoop quilting designs are available today that allow you to take full advantage of your embroidery machine even if quilting has been something that you typically avoid because free motion sewing isn’t your thing. Check out “Quilt With an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons” from Eileen Roche for lots of information on this subject.


1 Comment on August 2017

  1. Cora E Ballard
    07/08/2017 at 1:31 pm (4 months ago)

    I love making free-standing lace. I’d love to use cotton for a softer look, but have been unsuccessful using the only cotton I could find(12wt). What weight of Cotton-Steel would be recommended for this?


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