July '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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its classical richness and can have a positive effect on your pricing when customers see the added value this special effect thread brings to a finished product. The thinnest 50-weight metallic thread can be used for small lettering or the stitches in fine detail, making just about any design possible with metallic threads. Both 40- and 50-weight metallic threads will run well with no needle change, so a standard 65/9 or 75/11 will work well. Beyond shine, sparkle is accomplished with a metallic thread that features a three-time twist process around a Nylon core. It reflects light, gives designs a textured effect, and adds a new di- mension to designs. This twisted 30-weight thread behaves like a thicker thread, requiring a 90/14 needle for best results. It is ideal for decorative applications or to enhance a stock design in stitches that are not terribly short. Slowing the machine down when first starting with this metallic is wise. You'll still get your sparkle on, but let the thread find and get used to its path more slowly at first. A new 40-weight metallic on the market was designed to be all- purpose, soft against the skin, require no needle change and hold up to commercial laundering. Comprised of more polyester than metalized foil, it is shiny, durable, available in jewel tones, and a good choice for any embroiderer who may struggle with getting metallic threads to run properly. OLD WIVES AND URBAN MYTHS With metallic threads, both shiny and sparkly, it's all about the twist. To produce either effect, it involves winding or twisting ele- ments together in manufacturing. So, it stands to reason, as the thread comes off the spool and is fed through the machine, it is likely to twist against itself (think of a garden hose, one that you are looping around your hand to put it away neatly!). Here are a few methods embroiderers might swear by (or at): • Use mesh netting over the cone of metallic thread to encour- age it to unwind without kinks • Poke a small hole in the bottom of a paper cup, then invert the cup over the cone of thread • Place the metallic thread in a freezer for an hour or two before using; it will literally chill out and be less prone to kinking • Use a thread holder that allows the thread to come off the spool or cone horizontally rather than vertically Follow the recommendations above or from your machine's manufacturer for the needle sizes that will work best with your metallic. Choosing a large eye needle will reduce friction and make it easier to thread. Consider starting with a new needle to make certain that there are no burrs or worn points and that the needle will not contribute to thread tension. Metallic threads have more stretch to them. Tension should feel snug as you pull the thread through the needle. Slowing down your machine when first start- ing out should keep the metallic thread on the right track. Finally, make sure you are using good quality metallic embroidery thread. Thread that is well cared for has been stored properly away from dust, direct sunlight, and too much humidity should perform properly. Don't be afraid to shine this season! PW Alice Wolf is manager of education and publications at Madeira USA. Her marketing skills developed in the fields of publishing and public relations, covering art, home décor, film and television production. 2 0 1 9 J U L Y P R I N T W E A R 4 7 Top left: This "Lotus Medal- lion" is stitched in all metallic 40-weight thread, rather than the metallic and rayon specified. (Design courtesy Urban Threads; photo Madeira USA) Top right: The running and outline stitches in "Nature's Tapestry Peacock" were a logical place to add metallic thread for dimen - sion and to heighten the beauty of the bird. Three of the 16 col- ors in the design are metallic. (Design courtesy Embroidery Library; photo Madeira USA) Bottom left: While there are some satin stitches, for the most part the design is open and airy and lends itself well to running in metallic thread for added punch. (Design courtesy Embroidery Library; photo Madeira USA) Bottom right: This "Elephant" is stitched in all metallic threads for some royal treatment. (De - sign courtesy Urban Threads; photo Madeira USA)

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