Tips for Digitizing for Metallic Thread

It’s sparkle time!  Dealers around the country are watching metallic thread fly off their shelves as embroiderers reach for their favorite holiday thread.  You can add this shiny element to many designs but you should set yourself up for success.

Use your digitizing software to change some elements into metallic-friendly details.  In Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro digitizing software, lengthen run stitches.  My normal stitch length for quilting designs is 2.2.  For metallic threads, I increase the length to 2.8.  The longer stitch length lets the metallic thread shine on the fabric while shorter stitch lengths, tend to hide the pretty sheen.  Imagine how pretty those longer stitches will look on a dark fabric. 

Reduce the density of a complex fill.  The stitches should lay right next to each other without overlapping. The density default setting is 5.0, type in .80 and click Apply.

If your design requires underlay, consider making the underlay a separate color.  Stitch the underlay first in a coordinating polyester thread, then switch to the metallic to add the top layer.

Satins – think curves!  Metallics really shine when light bounces off the thread at different angles.  So curve your satin columns, and adjust the widths to take full advantage of the light.

The satin column on the right will reflect more light than the blue, straight column.

When digitizing for metallic thread, schedule some extra time for testing your digitized designs.  Later in the week, I’ll share tips for stitching with metallic. I’m hoping all of your holiday stitching is happy stitching!

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3 Comments on Tips for Digitizing for Metallic Thread

  1. Angela
    December 9, 2017 at 11:37 am (1 month ago)

    This is really helpful! I’ve been wanting to work in metallics for a while. I would have never thought of doing the underlay in a regular poly thread. That makes so much sense. Are there tension settings on your machine that need to be adjusted too?

    Reply
  2. Kate
    December 10, 2017 at 7:26 am (1 month ago)

    Awesome advice! Thank you

    Reply
  3. Karen Szymczyk
    December 10, 2017 at 10:43 am (1 month ago)

    Thanks for the information. I will have to try it.

    Reply

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