How to Embroider (or sew) with Metallic Thread

How to Embroider with Metallic Thread

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Butterfly head band with free standing lace.  This post may contain affiliate links, please see the end of the post for more information.Baby Girl is taking after her Mom in  loving all things girly and sparkly!  She loves when I create things with sparkly metallic thread, however my machine hates metallic thread.  I did some research on how to make it easier, because I wanted to make several metallic butterflies to make Baby Girl’s birthday dress.  I had already made a couple butterflies, however my machine and I were not getting along.  I found the two things you need to make sewing with metallic thread easier.  A vertical thread stand and metallic needles! You can also drop your thread tension to 1.  I won’t guarantee the metallic won’t break, however I can tell you it won’t break quite as often. I also included in this picture my favorite water soluble stabilizer, as I was working with free standing lace for this project.  The 3D Butterfly Embroidery design is by artapli on Etsy.

how to sew with metallic thread
Vertical Thread spool, Metallic needles, Water Soluble Stabilizer

The thread stand keeps the metallic thread up right and should come off the spool counter clockwise.  If you can slow down the speed our your embroidery machine it will also help. I haven’t been able to figure out how to slow down my Brother SE400 yet, if anyone has a tip for that, please let me know.

The thread spool I purchased has a thread hole, but don’t use it with metallic thread (works great with regular thread).  I used the thread loop at first, but after awhile my thread kept getting stuck and wrapped around the loop.  My tip is to let it thread directly to your machine. See below how the thread gets twisted in the thread loop?  The stand is also too far forward.

metallic thread twisted and breaking
Metallic thread twisted and too far forward

I found setting your embroidery thread stand to feed similarly to the picture below works the best.  If I sat it too far back, the handle would of the embroidery machine would get in the way.  If I moved it too far forward the hoop would occasionally bump the stand.

how to keep metallic thread from breaking
Feeding Metallic Thread from Thread Stand

My first attempt using the new thread spool and the new metallic needle and my machine made an entire free standing lace butterfly without breaking one thread!!  OMG!!!  I made many more and my thread did break a few times, however I felt comfortable enough to walk away from machine while it was embroidering without fear of it completely ruining my machine.  I did not have any more thread tangles in my machine.

Supplies needed to make sewing with metallic thread easier:

  1. Vertical Thread Stand
  2. Metallic Needles
  3. Embroidery Machine (I use a Brother SE400)
  4. Quality Metallic Thread
    1. Large Metallic Thread Starter Pack
    2. Small Metallic Thread Starter Pack
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About Seams Sew Lo 33 Articles
Hi I'm Lo and I love to sew and I also love to play with my two children!  I am the owner of Giggle Poo Mommy and Me Leggings.  I am a work at home Mom of two toddlers.  I never planned on staying home with the kids, however when I was 8 and 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, Little Dude, I was unexpectedly let go from my corporate job.  With a newborn and a tough job market, I decided to buy a Brother Sewing/Embroidery Machine and taught myself to sew. I would like to thank the many bloggers, youtube videos I have watched and PDF pattern designers for all their help. With a degree in International Business from aBlaise-Pascal University in France I decided to open my own business, an Etsy shop.  I started making baby leg warmers and then added embroidered bodysuits.  I was so busy I couldn't keep up and had to seek out third party help. After my second child, Baby Girl, life became super busy.  There is something about little girls clothes that makes them so much fun to create.  I started venturing out to more articles of clothing.  It has been a fun adventure. I am learning as I go.  I sometimes skip steps or take short cuts, sometimes I take a long road to get where I need to go.  I don't think sewing needs to be perfect, I think it should be fun!!

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