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Sewing with Metallic Thread

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Metallic thread can glitz up the simplest project in a fast way. It’s fun to use as topstitching or embellishment, and if you do free motion quilting on your domestic machine you can quilt out different decorative designs that are functional and pretty to look at!

Maybe a glittery black spider web stitched into a set of placemats, or adorn a stocking with shimmery holly!

There are a few things about using metallic thread you need to know before starting for the most successful project.

Always mount metallic thread on the upright spool holder. This way, the thread unwinds off the side and the spool itself does the spinning.

If you mount the thread on the horizontal spindle, the thread will spin off the spool and either wind itself up tighter, twisting until it breaks, or unwind separating the threads until it shreds. This is the most common problem people have with metallic thread, but the cause isn't immediately obvious because of the way the spool is positioned.

Lower your top tension to almost zero. You really don’t want to put any extra pressure on this thread; it’s a bit like tinsel and can be stretched into a mess. Make sure to wind your bobbin with a matching color of regular thread.

Use a metallic needle. Metallic needles have a large eye for easy threading and they punch a slightly larger hole through the fabric. They also have a larger groove in the front of the needle for the thread to channel in for protection during stitching.

I tried a triple straight stitch, with the green metallic thread, thinking it would be cute to cross-hatch something in a showy way. I had to stitch slower than just doing a single stitch, but I think this idea has potential too!

Well, there you go :) Another idea to add to your bag of tricks. I’d love to know if you try it!

Happy Sunday, everyone!


Follow all my quilty adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Visit my YouTube channel for free tutorials and tips. If you like my patterns, you can buy them on Etsy, and here on the website.


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