Embroidery Thread Vs. Regular Thread

Yes, the thread used for Embroidery varies from the regular ones as the former has a unique sheen and is stronger than the later. The embroidery or the needlework threads are made from rayon, cotton, polyester, or silk. Both of the threads have a different texture and are two types of threads that you can use for sewing purposes.

The sheen makes the two threads different from each other. Let’s dig into to know more about needlework threads. Besides being used for embroidery, these kinds of threads have higher sheen because of the looser twist. The thread is more robust as the embroidery work needs the thread to go in and out of the fabric multiple times.

Threads and their uses

A thread is a long and thin strand of fiber that you can use it for sewing. The fiber can be either cotton, nylon, or others. The fibers are twisted and spunk together.

There are different types of threads but the most common one used is the regular sewing thread. But yes, you can use Embroidering thread for regular sewing too.

Embroidery or needlework threads are less expensive, and it can go in and out of any fabric. This type of thread has 2-ply materials that are less twisted and has a flat texture. It is a good substitute for the sewing thread.

For example, embroidery rayon threads made from rayon are weaker compared to regular sewing threads. They tend to break when they get wet. Hence, if you are sewing your outdoor clothes, go for the regular ones. Some hand needlework, which uses Embroidering threads, includes decorating clothing, artwork, and furnishings.

In comparison, a sewing thread made of polyester finds its way in various projects, including hand and machine sewing. Regular polyester threads are best suited for use with stretch and knitted fabrics. They are strong and durable.

The cotton sewing threads are the most used sewing thread. It provides better sewability and less drop stitch. You can use Embroidery rayon or cotton threads for various projects. You can use the thread for quilting, beading, crochet, cross-stitching, and even bookbinding.

Multi-purpose sewing threads

While manufacturing garments, mending them, and piecing two pieces together, you may choose multi-purpose threads. These threads can be made of polyester, cotton, silk, and nylon. You can find cotton threads in a range of colours, and most of them accept dye treatment. Medium weight polyester threads are best for stitching synthetic materials. However, you have very limited options for choosing colours.

Threads for machine embroideries

Machine embroidery works have become popular. These threads have to be stronger than of multi-purpose threads. For machine embroidery, you may choose cotton, rayon, polyester, and silk threads.

However, these embroidery threads are softer and need to lie flat on the fabric surface. That is why you can find a higher sheen on these threads. Size of these threads varies between 30 and 60, and the most common one is 40.

Choosing the threads based on your preference

It is better to avoid low-quality threads, as they can clog the machine. You may try out a range of threads depending on the fiber and material.

Now, you can have a comparative view of embroidery and regular threads.

Threads for embroidery workThreads for regular purposes
 Used for embroidery.  Used for sewing. 
High sheen 2-ply threads due to the looser bendA long strand of yarn– There are threads of different types and they are applied for a range of purposes.
Thread sizes can range between 30 and 60Cotton threads of medium weight have of size of 50. Size 40 is common for cotton wrapped polyester threads.
Found in a variety of colors.There is a very limited color choice.
Applied for needlepoint, hardanger, blackwork, cross-stitch,  whitework, lace embroidery, and shadow workApplied for fixing tears, teats, and openings in your garments

How to choose needles for embroidery and regular thread?

Generally speaking, both the thread types need different types of needles for their usage. We know that embroidery is a special kind of sewing, and the needle used for embroidery purpose vary from the general sewing needles. The significant difference between the needles is the size of the eye and the scarf of the needle. Embroidery needles come with a larger eye. It prevents the thread from breaking or fraying. Larger eye needles ensure less pressure on the embroidering thread and avoid any delay in production. Hence, choosing a perfect needle is equally vital when it comes to stitching or embroidery.

Is it possible to use a sewing thread for embroidery work?

One can use regular sewing thread for hand-embroider clothing, but the end-product will not be as satisfactory as expected. The sewing thread’s flosses are very fine in comparison to the flosses of the thread used in embroidery. It would be best to use more strands to bring the shine and finish that a needlework thread will do. For example, three regular strands of threads are equal to 2 strands of embroidery floss. So, you can guess the hard work required to get the thicker-look finish if you use the regular one for hand-embroider clothing. The glow or the premium finish is missing in a sewing thread.

Tips for using embroidery thread on your regular sewing machine

Here is some good news. You can use embroidering thread on your regular sewing machine. Threads used for embroidery work are made from rayon can be useful for finished projects as it adds a layer of strength to the clothing. You must consider these things. Always try to lower the feed dog of your sewing machine when using an embroidery cotton thread. Make sure to check your bobbin before you insert it. Do not keep your bobbin empty. For an excellent end-product result, avoid using old thread as the quality of thread is essential.

Machine embroidery has become dominant in today’s fashion world. Dress designers often choose machine embroidery over hand embroidery. The best kind of thread used for embroidery needlework should be thick and smooth to run on machines. It aims at giving a soft feel to the body. The most common ones used for machine embroidery are rayon, cotton, metallics, silk, and polyester.

Hand embroidery shows the best result if you go with the stranded embroidery cotton thread. They are also known as “Embroidery Floss.” Besides being one of the preferred and most used threads, the cotton thread had six threads. You can either use the entire six strands to thread your needle or use it separately, depending on the material or the work. Rayon embroidery flosses are the shiniest and also challenging to work with. Since it gets tangled easily, try to use short lengths of threads while working. For better results, dampen the thread for a smoother finish.

If you are using hand embroidery cotton threads, it is advisable to separate the floss into different strands. Then slowly bring them together and thread the needle. Try working with shorter lengths, say, 25 inches. It will not tangle easily. When working with colorful threads, try to pre-wash them. It will ensure that there is no color bleeding afterward.

Final Verdict

Both the threads are different from each other. Both of them are having their properties. Buy the one which suits you best for your project. Go for the best brand. Profitable brands ensure that you get the best quality threads. Low and cheap quality threads will break easily and can even clog your sewing or embroidery machine.

Threads come in all types of materials making your choice easier. Embroidery-work threads are thicker than the regular sewing threads. Their sizes vary from 30 to 60. 30 is the thickest size, and 60 is the thinnest one. You can use embroidery rayon threads for different sewing purposes such as ribbon embroidery, cross-stitch, blackwork, hand needlework, etc. Any sewing thread can be used for sewing purposes, whereas threads used in for embroidery work are made from rayon and polyester specialize in embroidery work.

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