GC Home | Register | Shop | Learn | Business | Around Town | Info
Choosing Decorative Thread
By Pauline Richards, Total Embellishments
I love my serger and appreciate the quality finished look it helps me create. I don't miss zig zagged seams one bit! But, today's sergers are meant to do more than just finish seams, they're meant to be a tool for decorative stitching and embellishing. Many beautiful decorative threads and yarns will work well in sergers. However, trying to serge with the wrong thread can cause expensive headaches.
Any stiff, bulky thread will not combine well with ANY serger, in fact these pesky thread can easily upset the delicate timing of your machine's multiple needles and loopers.
So, how do you know what will work and what won't work in your serger and how can you take advantage of using your serger to the max with multiple threads? As you test the possibilities keep these points in mind:
Begin your adventure into decorative serging with smooth, tightly twisted threads. Consider combining two or three 30-weight threads and use them as one through a looper. You'll achieve a thicker, more solid decorative appearance, but with the assurance that you won't upset your machine.
Plan the use of decorative threads and use them where they will create the most "punch" once the project is finished.
Use thicker, decorative threads in the lower and/or upper loopers and decorative metallic sewing thread through the needles. If your machine utilized regular sewing needles be sure to use metafil needles when using metallic thread.
Decorative threads are not always guided through all tension disks. Some guides/disks may be completely bypassed for stitching perfection. Check your machine manual for specific suggestions relating to your machine.
Tension adjustments are generally necessary when working with thicker thread.
When testing a thick decorative thread, guide the thread through all looper thread guides. Gently but firmly and quickly "pull" the thread out the back of the machine. Note the resistance. How smoothly does the thread glide? If the resistance is great, you may want to avoid using that thread through your serger and reserve it for use as a couched trim applied with a conventional machine. Or, serge over a thick decorative thread with loose stitches that allow the beauty of the thread to show through.
Combine Woolly Nylon™ thread with another thread such as metallic sewing thread and guide the two through the same looper. The nylon will enhance the coverage and the metallic will add interest.
Avoid decorative trims with stiff lumps or bumps. The bumps or slubs can easily get caught on one of the thread guides, forcing the looper to come to a quick stop and upsetting the delicate timing.
Avoid thick trims. Trims must move through each guide smoothly at a high speed, Although thick trims may fit through the guides and through the looper thread holes, they may actually not slide easily when the machine is run at mid to high speeds.
Buttonhole twist, needle punch yarn, Ribbon Floss™, Pearl Crown rayon, Designer 6, Jean Stitch and Monet from YLI ®, Sliver ™ metallic from Sulky of America ®, #5 Cotton Perle Floss by DMC ®, and Decor, Glamour and Jewel from Madeira are all good choices.
More information on Total Embellishments
Back to the Get Creative! Conference Center
Back to Meet the Get Creative! Experts
Advertisers & Virtual Advantage Web Design Clients
A Stitch in Time Quilting
Abby's Attic Quilting & Fabric
Buggy Barn Quilts
Carriage Country Quilts
Charlotte's Sew Natural
Cozy Kitten Quilts
Deborah Gayle Sales
Flamingo Island Designs LLC
Fat Quarter Quilters
Front Porch Quilts
GreatPond Quilts LLC
Grandmas Attic Quilting
Judy's Barlup's Unique Techniques
Liberty Quilt Shop
LS Boudreau Quilt Fabric Store
Muggin's Designer Hats
My Quilt Shoppe
Newport Quilt & Gift Company
Norton House - A Quilters Paradise
Oakes & Acorns
Patchwork Sampler Quilting Supplies
Professional Assn of Custom Clothiers
Quiltmakers Quilt Shop
Quilts by the Bay
Sew Bee It
Sew Many Options Tours
Stacey's Quilty Conscience
Suzanne's Quilt Shop
The Country Spool
The Quilting Circle
The Quilted Crow
Weather or Not Fabrics
VA Quilt Shops
Virtual Advantage Quilt Shop Resource
York Street Quilting Co.
BC Holstein News
Cedarland Forest Products
Davit Systems Demo
Silencer Products Int.
Heat Safe Industries
Lake Tahoe House Rental
Salmon Sports BC Fishing
Highland Powder Skiing
S'more Camping Please