Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day from The Green Company with the Green Logo

For nearly 100 years, long before being “green” was in the forefront of mainstream social consciousness, Madeira has been setting the world standard for manufacturing and distributing embroidery thread within an ethical and eco-friendly environment. Right from the start, adhering to the principles of Re-think, Reduce, Re-use and Recycle, Madeira maintains its “choice of market leaders” status by taking a position of responsibility and accountability.

From production to distribution, Madeira is dedicated to making as many environmentally responsible decisions as possible. Some of the ways that we achieve that is by the following:
  • Raw materials in the production of our embroidery thread are purchased only from accredited sources and hold ISO and/or Oeko-Tex certificates.
  • Efficient manufacturing processes reduces water and energy consumption. Water that is used from the dying process is later purified and returned to the environment. Heat is recycled from other processes for the thread drying system.
  • Financial contributions are made to Unicef, World Wildlife Fund and local causes.
  • Madeira’s embroidery threads are Oeko-tex® certified to be free of all harmful substances.
  • Classic Rayon is made with sustainable resources and is biodegradable, compliant with Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) and is the only embroidery thread that is GOTS compliant.
  • Recycling is practiced at all 12 Madeira locations throughout the U.S. and energy consumption is closely monitored.

Recycle Empty Thread Cores
Did you know that the plastic cores that our thread are wound on are recyclable? Our empty cone and spool cores are made of the #5 plastic, polypropylene and are recyclable. Many local communities have a recycling program in place, so check with your local government or city hall to find out if they accept #5 plastics for recycling.

If your local city recycling program does not accept the #5 plastics, here are a few alternatives:

Gimme 5 Program - Preserve®, an eco-friendly products company has partnered with Whole Foods Market, which is a nationwide grocery store chain and Stony Fields Dairy Company to allow people to drop off their #5 plastics at Wholefoods Market locations. If there is no Whole Foods Market near you, you may also mail your #5 plastic to them. For more information about the Gimme 5 Program, please visit - This is an informative site about reducing your impact, reusing what you’ve got and recycling your trash. There is a handy feature on their site where you can enter what you are looking to recycle and your zip code and it will list the closest drop off locations for you. For more information, visit

For additional information about Madeira's green commitment, please visit

Think green!
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To the Point: Knowing What Needle to Use

Like so many things in life, a successful outcome is the result of many things falling into place or achieving a harmony. In embroidery, you need the right tension, backing, thread, needles etc. in order to achieve success; it requires a perfect balance. Luckily, with embroidery, this isn’t difficult to obtain, unlike, say world peace?

So, we’re going to start off on explaining the difference between needle types. There are primarily two types of needles: Ballpoint and Sharp, which is then further broken down into Round shank or Flat Sided Needles.

Ballpoint Needles have a rounded point to prevent cutting into the fabric when embroidering. They’re used for knitted fabrics such as t-shirts, lingerie, fleece, sweatshirt material and finely knit sweaters – basically anything you don’t want a big hole in.

Sharp Point Needles have a sharp point to allow the needle to cut through tightly woven fabrics when embroidering. They’re used for twill, denim, canvas, caps and broadcloth – usually any type of fabric that is thick or stiff, which would require more pressure in order to penetrate the fabric.

Round Shank needles have a round shank and are commonly used on commercial embroidery machines.

Flat Sided Needles are flat on one side of the shank and are commonly used on home/non-commercial embroidery machines.

We’ve covered the type of needles to use based on the type of material you plan on embroidering onto, but what about which needle size to use? Depending on the thread weight that you plan to use for your project, that will determine the needle size that you need to use. Below is a chart of the recommended needle for each of our thread weights.

Helpful Tip: The smaller the needle used, the smaller the penetration hole. Using the smallest needle recommended for each thread type will give you the optimal, best looking design. It’s recommended that new embroiderers use the larger or middle size needle recommended. As you gain more experience, moving down to the smaller needle may improve the look of your embroidery.

Happy Embroidering,
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