Tips for using heavyweight thread in embroidery projects

 Tips for using heavyweight thread in embroidery projects

Image from

Machine embroidery thread comes in a variety of colors, weights and fiber content. The three most common machine embroidery threads used are rayon, polyester, and cotton.  Sometimes wool and silk are used in embroidery projects as are specialty threads.

There are  different types of weights of embroidery thread.  Heavyweight embroidery thread can be used to give added dimension and other effects to projects.

Light and airy threads are often used for heirloom sewing and embroidery projects. Using heavyweight thread can easily change your design with little hassle.  Here are a few points to consider when using heavyweight thread in your machine embroidery projects.

  • Thread weights are numbered  12 – 80 with the lower number being the thicker thread.  A 12 weight almost is like yarn it’s so thick. Whereas a higher number like 80 would be the finest thread often used in delicate heirloom projects.
  • Some weights are suitable for use in sewing machines and embroidery machines
  • The thicker, heavier embroidery thread will need to pass through the needle freely.
  • Use a large needle when working with heavyweight embroidery thread. A 110/18 is a good size for heavyweight thread.
  • Watch speed settings on your machine.  Start out with a slow speed and keep an eye on the design. Going at a slower speed will prevent broken threads.
  • Use the proper fabric to support a heavier thread.  Don’t use a slinky silk with a heavyweight thread.
  • For a softer, pliable design reduce the density.
  • Use heavyweight thread only in specific areas of the design to bring out texture or for added dimension to an area.

Use heavyweight threads in the bobbin for additional design opportunities.

  • Open work designs for bobbin work do especially well
  • If using a specialty thread like metallic, glow-in-the-dark and similar hand wind it onto the bobbin.

As always whenever starting a project do a test before doing it on the real deal!

What are your favorite tips for working with heavyweight thread?

And, be sure to check out Creative Machine Embroidery’s eBook Library for more great projects, tips and techniques. Check the out HERE!

This entry was posted in Embroidery Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tips for using heavyweight thread in embroidery projects

  1. Myrna Goddard says:

    Thanks for the update on threads. I guess I new a lot of it but I always forget that the larger the number the smaller the thread. For some reason that just doesn’t set in my mind. Any chance there are some sights where we can see and compare where different weight threads have been used?

  2. Jill says:

    Hmm. I will look into that, that’s a good idea. I will post something here on the blog, but let me check our archives and see if there isn’t something on hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>