Monday, June 22, 2015

Size Matters: Thinny-thin Thread

So your embroidery looks pretty good. You have a goodly amount of repeat work and your customers compliment your efforts. But you’re more critical; the detail looks a little blurred and the small lettering, well, the smaller it is, the more difficult it is to read. An obvious answer is to just soldier on. A better answer is to go smaller!

The smallest lettering you can do with your regular 40 weight thread and still be able to read it easily, is about 6 mm; but many customers are requiring lettering that’s smaller. So you consider using 60 weight threads which will achieve readable lettering down to 3 mm. And the fine detail!! Of course, for best results, you will need to downsize your needle to a size #65/9 (oh, stop your moaning!) You have a commercial machine (or machines) with 13 or more needles on it (or on each head), more than you need for most designs, so simply designate one needle position for your thin thread, install the #65/9 needle and get on with it. And if you have a home-style machine, with a single needle, it’s not that big a deal.

But now your customers -- never satisfied -- are pushing you to achieve even smaller lettering and with even greater detail in their logos (the ingrates!) My company, Madeira USA, has created 75 weight polyester thread as part of our Polyneon thread product line. This is the thinnest thread on the market and will enable you to embroider lettering below 3 mm. Wow! And you will need a size #60/8 needle to get the best results. Sorry! But this tiny needle punches a smaller hole in the fabric relative to the minuscule detail and lettering that is accomplished by the thin thread. C’mon! Needles are the cheapest investment in your business; a tray of 10 needles costs bubkis and will last a while.

The new 75 weight is available in 40 solid colors on yellow plastic Mini Snap Cones of 2,734 yards, while black and white are available on 10,936-yard cones. And since black and white are the main colors you will use for your teeny-tiny lettering, a cone will last quite a while.

So, in conclusion, contrary to what you may have heard, size matters, but don’t hesitate to get smaller. You’ll like it and so will your customers.