November '22

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3 6 G R A P H I C S P R O • N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M slow-downs and stress. Making sure candy apple red or Carolina blue are always consistently the same color before you buy can save you a lot a headaches and dissatisfied customers. Another question concerning color is the dye practices of the manufacturer. Some thread manufacturers will re-dye thread that has been incorrectly dyed. Ideally, the manufacturer would scrap the incorrectly dyed lot, but that is expensive. So, instead, some manufacturers re-dye the thread, usually to black. at is why black thread is often a thread color that suffers more break- age or weakness. Since the black thread may have been through the dying process twice, it may be less durable and more brittle. Not every manufacturer follows the re-dying practice, but it is something to consider and ask about when selecting a thread brand to purchase. DURABILITY Consistency also counts when it comes to the durability of the embroidery thread used. Because durability is so important, many shops have switched from rayon, which used to be the thread of choice to polyester thread. Rayon was once popular because it had a pronounced sheen, while the original polyester thread was more matte. Since the introduction of tri-lobal poly- ester thread, however, that has changed, and embroiderers can get sheen and durability in one package. Polyester is also more washfast and colorfast, which makes it ideal for embroidery that will undergo washing and drying on a regular basis. When it comes to durability, the concern is that the thread has some stretch and will stand up to the stress that running through a machine and through material places on it. Storage can have some impact on durability, as thread that is not stored properly can dry out and become brittle. read should be stored away from sunlight and in a room with a reasonable humidity. A room that is reasonably humid will be humid enough to keep the thread from becoming brittle, but not so humid that the thread becomes sticky or moldy. To keep it from dust, thread should be stored in bins or covered in the plastic bags or sleeves in which many brands of thread are sold. One way to test durability of thread is to do what's called a snap, pull, or tug test. Whatever the name used, the idea is to test the durability of the thread in question. To perform the test, unwind at least six inches, but no more than a foot of thread, and hold the thread firmly in both hands. Wrap the thread around your hands, like you would a tug of war rope, and pull your hands slowly apart until the thread breaks. A clean snap of the thread means the thread is in good condition and will likely sew properly. A thread that shreds or snaps unevenly or in pieces is thread that is past its prime and will likely cause issues if used. A thread with an unclean snap is thread that should be removed from inventory and no longer used. e likelihood of a decent sew out with thread of this type is small, and the pos- sibility of frustration for the machine operator and production slowdowns is high. e snap test is a simple one but can save a lot of wasted time and effort. When it comes to wasting money, inferior thread can cost a shop a lot more than it may seem at first glance. Image courtesy Madeira USA

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