• Weight – most designs are digitised for 40-weight thread but if you change the size or want a particular effect try a different weight. Running stitch designs often have more impact when stitched with 30-weight. A 60-weight thread may be preferable on a very light fabric.
  • Composition – rayon and polyester are the most popular. If your machine has been set up for one type and you want to use the other you may have to adjust the tension as polyester stretches more than rayon. Cotton has a nice subtle sheen but makes a lot of fluff when stitching so remember to brush the bobbin area out more often. Wool/acrylic mixtures and metallics can be very effective but need an extra careful choice of design, preferably one digitised for that thread. Metallic threads are less likely to break if you use a thread stand – this provides a long thread path so any kinks can fall out before they reach the needle.
  • Variegated threads – there are lots of lovely variegated threads that look beautiful in airy designs on fine or sheer fabrics and help to avoid some of the colour changes and consequent little lumps made by the fixing stitches.
  • Bobbin thread – in most cases the thread you usually use for embroidery (e.g. Madeira Bobbinfil, Empress Mills Polylight) will be suitable. For sheer fabrics consider using the same thread as in the needle then with an adjustment of tension some designs are virtually reversible.

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Mary Prior's 10 Tips for Machine Embroidery  - Embroidering on Difficult Fabrics
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