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Effect of Thread Type on Embroidery Clothing

Updated on October 21, 2011

Embroidery Threads

Ambience of the embroidered motif wholly depends upon the kind of threads used. If wrong embroidery threads are used, then even the most elegant design will lose its sheen. In the following paragraphs, we shall throw some light on the impact of thread type on embroidery clothing.

Types of embroidery threads

A wide range of threads is used for creating exquisite custom embroidery apparel. Let’s take a look at the ones that the embroiders commonly use.

  • Silk- One of the most expensive embroidery threads, it is primarily used to impart magnificent opulence to embroidery clothing. It is has a unique sheen and high tensile strength.
  • Rayon- It is considered to be the best alternative to silk thread. With respect to the sheen, it is exceedingly difficult to differentiate between the two thread types. The only way to tell them apart is to rub the embroidered motif vigorously; while silk thread will be warm to touch, rayon will remain cool.
  • Polyester- Due to its strength, colorfastness and durability, polyester thread is extensively used for custom embroidery. However, it lacks the sheen of rayon and silk.
  • Cotton- It is chiefly used to re-create the aura of hand-embroidery. If the motif has matte finish, then rest assured that cotton threads are used.
  • Metallic- It is a hard thread with an iridescence. The resilience and stability of metallic embroidery thread is unquestionable.
  • Variegated- Often used to produce a multi-colored pattern, threads of different colors and hues are twisted together. It is an excellent way to generate blended embroidered patches.

Some more things to remember

Now that you know quite a bit about different types of embroidery threads, it’s time to consider things that you should remember while buying custom embroidery apparel.

  • If metallic threads are used, then the backing material should be top-class; otherwise, you would have to deal with some sort of skin irritation or allergy.
  • For variegated appearance, if threads of different colors are twisted together, make sure that all the threads are of the same type. Polyester and cotton do not gel well. For distinguishing between rayon and silk, you would need some expertise; so, don’t hesitate to take the help of an expert.
  • Whenever you buy embroidery clothing, not only consider the color, style, size and price, but also the quality of the threads. If you an intending to use the garment roughly, then polyester thread would be a better choice as compared to cotton and rayon. The latter two tend to lose their sheen and color after a few washes.


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