Monday, August 12, 2013

Choosing The Best Embroidery Thread

My Company (Madeira USA) has asked me to try my hand at writing the Madeira Blog. I think they did it because I’ve slowed down a bit in the last few years; I used to be on the road, selling thread (sewing and embroidery) for more than 200 days a year and now I work four days every other week and they want to keep me busy. You know the saying about “idle hands.”  That is not to say that I don’t answer the phone when I’m not (officially) working, if you or one of my other customers or one of my colleagues calls, because I do. I’m just an old firedog answering the bell whenever it rings. Additionally, and more importantly, I have more than 20 years’ experience in the embroidery business and they feel I have something to contribute in terms of helping to educate embroiderers and, oh yeah, help them be more $uccessful!

So I thought I’d begin blogging by addressing some of the questions I’ve heard time and again, mostly from embroiderers new to the business, but from veterans as well. And I’ll try to be brief and to the point because I know you’re busy.

Standing in the Madeira booth at an industry show or in my Madeira shirt on a sales call, I’m invariably asked, “Which is the best brand of thread?” or “Why should I use your thread?” Now, I’m always momentarily tempted to extoll the many virtues of our thread and the many reasons to do business with Madeira. But really, you’re the best judge of which thread is “best.” And here’s how to do it.
Google “embroidery thread” and (discounting the ads from Amazon and others like it) call or email each of the thread manufacturers and distributors. Tell them you’re new to embroidery and ask for a thread sample and a thread card. If they ask you for your credit card number, cross them off your list. If they want your business, they will be happy to enter you into their data base and send you the sample(s) and thread card (I know we will).

There are three benchmarks for you to determine the “best” thread for you.
1. How does it perform? Comes off the spool (or cone) smoothly? Sews design after design without thread breaks?
2. How does it look? This is how your customer will judge your embroidery. Does it look like you want it to be representative of your craft and business?
3. Is it a good value? Here we have a blend of many elements: the cost per unit, of course, but factored by thread quality, availability, shipping costs (how close is the shipping point), color selection, ease of ordering (mail, phone, fax, on line, email), great customer service (source of information and advice), one-stop shopping (everything you’ll need in one place), etc.