Frequently Asked Questions
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Question: I just purchased an embroidery machine and I don't know if I should use Rayon or Polyester embroidery thread. Which should I use and why?
Suggestion: That is a very good question, one that we get frequently. Rayon has been on the market far longer than Polyester and has more colours. Our line of Rayon threads comprises 377 beautiful colours. Our Polyester line has 306 beautiful colours. Some of our customers prefer Rayon and some Polyester. The advantage of using Polyester is that it's a stronger thread and colour fast. While 20 or 25 years ago it could be said that the Polyester embroidery threads were not as shiny as the Rayon, this has certainly changed as you would not be able to tell the difference when comparing an embroidery done with the same colour with both types. Most of our new customers go for the Polyester. If you are embroidering on quilts, baby clothing, items that will be washed a lot or bleached, you certainly would want to go with Polyester, if you're embroidering things that will not be laundered that often, it really doesn't make a difference. Some of our customers even use their Polyester embroidery thread to quilt with.
Question: I want to use my Marathon threads but the design lists thread colours from another company. According to the charts, there is no exact match in Marathon Threads. How do I match the threads?
Suggestion: Everyone has their favorite colours that they use over and over again. These colours match the colours of the items they choose to embroider. The digitizing company has probably stitched their sample on plain white fabric. If you use the exact colours but change the colour of the background fabric, the result will be different. It might be better to choose colours that look best on your background colour. Try to match the colour as closely as possible to the value of the given colours. Lay the spools on your item to see how they compliment each other. Keep track of the new colour choices for repeated embroidering. It is not unusual to change the colours if the same design is to be stitched on a different fabric colour. You can also purchase My Thread box that we carry which is a software that converts thread colours from other thread brands to Marathon or any other brand. It has 70+ different thread palettes, it will tell you what the closest match is.
Question: How do I know if I have a tension problem?
Suggestion: If you have loops on the back, you have a problem with the top tension as it's too loose, thread breakage can be another sign of tension problems and it can be caused by the upper tension being too tight or using a needle that is too small.
Question: My machine caused a small hole in the fabric in the center of my design. Can I repair it and continue stitching? I was stitching a design with several colours and a large stitch count. The thread caught behind the machine, pulling the threads of the fabric making a small hole.
Suggestion: If the design will stitch over the small hole and cover it completely, you can add a patch of the stabilizer on the back. An alternative method is to add a small patch of water-soluble stabilizer over the hole. It will support the stitching during the embroidering. Clip the threads on the top and back. Reverse the embroidery about 20 stitches from the break. Stitch past the affected area. Stop and remove the hoop from the machine. Trim the stabilizer patch(es). Return the hoop to the machine and complete the embroidery.
Question: Some people tell me that I don't have to use a metallic needle when using metallic threads, is this true?
Suggestion: There is no steadfast rule. Many machine embroiderers use a size 14 when using metallic threads and get very good results.
Question: Is there a faster way to take stitches out of an embroidery when my machine jams other than using a seam ripper and tweezers?
Suggestion: Yes, we sell a nifty little gadget called an Embroidery Removal Tool; it looks like a razor and what is different about this is that the blade is placed at a special angle to cut your threads. It's fairly simple, just take your project out of the hoop, put the back of your project face up and slice the back of the threads with the embroidery removal tool, turn the project over and pull your threads out. really, it's as simple as that! ** We just got two new models, one has a zebra print and the other has a leopard print.**.
Question: My embroidery machine sews at 800 SPM, when I try and embroider at this speed, my thread breaks, why?
Suggestion: None of the machine manufacturers recommend that you use your embroidery machine at top speed. A good speed to stitch your designs out is 500 to 600 SPM. Usually machines that sew at 800 SPM also have the function of doing straight stitching and the 800 SPM is normally so that you can use that function.
Question: I use a variety of brands of thread and some tangle more than others, especially metallic threads is there anything I can do to alleviate this problem?
Suggestion: We have just the product for you. It's called the Wonder Thread Guide. Totally eliminates tangling, twisting and thread pile ups. It works with all machines with spool holders - either horizontal or vertical. We tested it extensively and always got excellent results. You could alternatively do what one of our customers Janice from Okotoks AB has done which was place a vertical spool holder on top of the machine in the little slot provided, put a small red felt pad down on the vertical spool holder and then placed the spool of thread on this is that the thread was standing up vertically. Then she threaded the machine as usual. As explained, the thread was now coming off the spool sideways (as it had been wound on), so that the thread came off without twisting. (When you pull the thread up from the spool or unwind from the end of the spool, it "can" twist on itself which is what causes problems when the thread goes thru the tension "disks". She says if you follow this procedure it will work like a charm. Thank you Janice for the very good suggestion. The only issue with this is that the machine has to work harder to pull the thread which may cause more wear and tear on the machine but is certainly an excellent temporary fix.