Printwear

May '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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5 6 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 9 Silk: Silk thread is not as common as the other threads mentioned, but it does have its place in machine embroidery. Silk thread is generally used for embroidery on special- ty fabrics like silk and satin. The durability of silk thread can be a problem, although it is stronger than most people would think. That said, the availability and cost of silk thread may be its largest challenges. Metallic: Metallic thread is generally con- sidered an accent thread. One thing that de- termines the quality of a metallic thread is the core around which the thread is created. Common cores include polyester, rayon, or nylon. More durable cores, like polyester or nylon, tend to create metallic threads that are less likely to break. CONSISTENT COLORS Another important consideration for choos- ing embroidery thread is the dying process. Many thread manufacturers have recipes for their dyes ensuring that each dye lot is identical. This helps preserve continuity and ensures that shades will not vary from one lot to another. Any embroiderer who has gone through the process of selecting a color with a customer knows why this is im- portant. Consistent dye lots are vital for the success of repeat jobs or even for comple- tion of large jobs where large quantities of garments are being embellished. Dye practices can also have an impact on the durability of a thread. Instead of scrap- ping thread lots that were incorrectly dyed, some thread manufacturers will simply dye the thread again using a darker color. Black is a common culprit in cases like this, which is why black may break more often than other colors. Since the thread has been through the dying process twice, it is less durable and more brittle than it would typically be. While all dark color threads are not necessarily re-dyed, it does happen and is something to be aware of when choosing your thread. LONG LASTING There are many other outside factors the affect the longevity, color retention, and workability of thread. This includes how B ecause we know thread does dry out and can become brittle, it is wise to periodically test cones that have been in use or in stor- age for a while. The easiest test goes by a number of names including the snap test, the pull test, and the tug test. Essentially, what this test does is show the durability of your thread. To perform the test, unwind between 6" and one foot of thread and hold the thread firmly in both hands, like you're performing a mini tug of war. Pull your hands apart until the thread breaks. If the thread is still in good condi- tion, it will snap cleanly. If the thread shreds or pulls apart in a piecemeal fashion, then it's likely the thread should be thrown out. Thread that shreds is thread that is likely to break often, slowing down production and causing frustration of the machine operator. EMBROIDERY THREAD

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