Living in a Material World
I use lots of different elements in my work and I like nothing better than to ‘ferret out’ some new material or interesting beads, threads, or buttons to add a different slant on things.
All About Threads
I used to order my threads from a local supplier, but the range I liked was discontinued.
It is annoying because characteristics can vary a great deal, depending on the manufacturer and it is worth taking a little time to practice with them to get your settings right.
The kind of fabric you use as a base is important, too; as it can effect the apearance of your stitching. Consider also, what kind of handle you want to your piece? A stiff, robust fabric is great if you are making a textile sculptures or something that will get a lot of ‘wear & tear’, but no good if you are wanting to create a fluid garment with folds or pleats.
Metallic threads, These can vary in the upper tension settings they need , anything from 2 to just under normal(around 5/6), depending on the type of needle and the manufacturer. Usually, metallics need a looser upper tension than normal.
Tip I find the best type of needle to use with these threads is a Metallic needle ( my particular favourite is made by Schmetz).
If you can’t source these, you can use a size 14/90 Topstitch needle.
Always check the top of the reel if there is a little picture of a sewing machine it is suitable. It may have knitting needles, in which case – do not use it in your machine, as these threads are mostly combined with a tinsel-type strand which snags in the machine needle and causes breaks regularly.
Variegated rayon threads These are lovely to use, as they can add further dimension to your stitching. They are quite fine, so if you want a more pronounced effect, use something like Madeira Rayon; which has a lovely sheen to it.
You will find that embroidery rayon can have a life of its’ own! Sometimes it is hard to keep it on the bobbin. Again, practice if you are using them for the first time..
Tip If you want to build up depth of stitching, use a less expensive thread and save your more costly ones for the top layers.
Cotton threads These should be used in conjunction with natural cotton materials, If you are using poly- cotton; then a polyester thread is more suitable. When using Silks use silk thread – Always match your thread to your material for the best results!
Finally, don’t forget Your machine should be regularly brushed out to keep your bobbon case clear.
Last golden rule – Every new project or piece starts with a new needle!
Happy Sewing, Everyone
Bye for now.