May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 M A Y P R I N T W E A R || 97 P laying favorites is frowned upon in parenting and politics. But when it comes to embroidery, it is nearly impossible to speak with an experienced embroiderer who does not reach for their favorite general purpose embroidery thread—either made up of ray- on or polyester—on a daily basis. Sure, there are colors, both personal choices and those requested by clients, that may dictate the cone you reach for, but those em- broiderers who do not understand the inherent differences in rayon and polyester embroidery threads may be reaching for the wrong thread without knowing why. SIMILAR ATTRIBUTES There are similarities between ray- on and polyester, which sometimes makes the choice tougher. Both of these all- purpose embroidery threads are 40 weight, which means that 99 percent of all stock designs you will find anywhere will run well and produce the design you are after. Both would be stitched using a 75/11 needle. Both are available in small put-ups of 1,100 yards, and large put-ups of 5,500 yards. Both rayon and polyester are available in more than 400 colors from top thread man- ufacturers. Both are matched to Pantone shades for accuracy in color matching. Both are designed for running at high speeds on commercial embroidery machines. Both reflect light, bringing a shine to the embroi- dered design. When purchased from a re- sponsible manufacturer, both are Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful substances, making them safe for use on all apparel, including children's and infant wear. Even with these similarities, your end product should dictate which of these 40-weight threads you choose. DURABILITY If your embroidery shop con- sistently produces work on uni- forms, commercial linens, work wear, or children's clothing—any items that may be tossed into heavy duty wash water when laundering—polyester embroi- dery thread should be your choice. Most 100 percent polyes- ter embroidery threads are resis- tant to chlorine bleach that is used in commercial laundering. Even bathing suits, which are subjected to chlorine in pool water, will hold their color best when em- broidered with polyester thread. Rayon Vs. Polyester Thread vision production. Email her at Alice Wolf is the marketing com- munications manager for Madei- ra USA. Her marketing expertise developed through accomplish- ments in publishing, public rela- tions and sales within the fields of art, home decor, film and tele- Above: Rayon is Rich Medcraft's thread of choice, "par- ticularly for wildlife and floral elements" in a design like his "The Magic Northwest" emblem. (Image courtesy Stitchwise Embroidery Design) Left: Rayon is particu- larly known for its tensile strength, aka its resistance to breaking under tension. (Image courtesy Madeira) Choosing which type of thread to run on your embroidery machines B Y A L I C E W O L F

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