Can You Use Embroidery Thread In a Sewing Machine?

Embroidery Thread in Sewing Machines: Can You Do It?

Unlock Sewing Secrets: Can Embroidery Thread Thrive in Sewing Machines?

Ever been in that tricky situation where you’re almost done with a sewing project and then realize you don’t have the right sewing thread? But, you find the exact color in your embroidery thread stash? You’re probably wondering, is it possible to use embroidery thread in a sewing machine? Let’s dive in and uncover the details!

Embroidery Thread in Regular Sewing Machines

Good news! You can absolutely use embroidery thread in your sewing machine. It’s particularly wonderful for decorative stitches, quilting, or top-stitching. But, a word of caution: it might not be the best for your seams.

What About Hand Embroidery Floss?

You can thread embroidery floss through your machine, but there’s a trick. You need to single out a strand from the floss and manually roll it onto a bobbin or tiny spool. Due to the short length of hand embroidery floss threads, it’s a bit tedious. Additionally, the strength of a lone embroidery floss strand doesn’t match that of regular sewing thread, making it a no-go for seams.

Comparing Embroidery Thread and Sewing Thread

Understanding the differences between these two threads will guide you on their applications:

  • Fiber Composition: Embroidery threads are usually made of rayon or polyester, while sewing threads lean towards cotton, polyester, or a mix of both.
  • Strength and Durability: Machine embroidery threads are designed to handle faster stitching speeds but aren’t as robust as sewing threads. So, seams or garment-making? Think twice.
  • Thread Characteristics: Embroidery thread boasts a soft, smooth finish and a beautiful shine, making it great for decorative uses. It’s also adept at laying flat on fabric, perfect for free-motion embroidery or satin stitch appliqué borders.
  • Variety: Embroidery threads win the color variety game. However, sewing threads dominate in the higher weight ranges.

Choosing the Right Embroidery Thread for Sewing

Embroidery threads come in several weights like 30, 40, 60, and 90. Here’s a quick run-down of some top choices:

  • Polyester Embroidery Thread: Popular and robust with a myriad of vibrant colors.
  • Rayon Embroidery Thread: Known for its brilliant sheen but is gradually being overshadowed by polyester due to washing concerns.
  • Cotton Embroidery Thread: Natural with a matte finish, making it similar to sewing thread. For many, regular sewing thread might be preferable.
  • Specialty Embroidery Threads: Options like silk, metallic, glow-in-the-dark, variegated, and UV color-changing threads are all fun choices but come with their quirks.
  • Embroidery Bobbin Thread: Lighter in weight and more prone to snapping but can be used as a top thread if need be.

Tips for Success with Machine Embroidery Thread

When sewing with machine embroidery thread, use an embroidery needle like a Schmetz size 75/11. For specialty threads, switch to a topstitching or metallic needle. And remember, tension adjustments might be necessary based on your bobbin thread.

Using Sewing Thread in Embroidery Machines

Although possible, it’s not advised to use sewing thread in embroidery machines. High-speed stitching might cause breaks and leave unwanted fuzz in your machine. Only consider it if you’re truly out of options.

Decorative Stitching with Embroidery Thread? Go Ahead!

While there are rules to heed, using machine embroidery thread on a sewing machine for decorative stitching is certainly viable. Just steer clear of seams and anticipate the outcome.

Key Takeaways:

Aspect Detail
Embroidery Thread in Sewing Machines Yes, but not for seams
Hand Embroidery Floss Possible, but tedious
Strength Embroidery thread isn’t as strong as sewing thread
Preferred Embroidery Thread for Sewing Polyester due to its strength and color variety
Using Sewing Thread in Embroidery Machines Not recommended


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Hello! I'm Monica, the creative mind behind On my blog, I delve into the world of sewing, sharing my passion and knowledge with a community of both novice and seasoned sewers. From foundational techniques and comprehensive tutorials to innovative projects and expert tips, I cover a wide array of topics to assist you on your sewing journey.

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