Understanding Madeira Embroidery Threads

Understanding Madeira Embroidery Threads

New to machine embroidery and need some direction? Longtime customer looking to branch out to new threads? This page is for you. We will be going over each type of machine embroidery thread that Madeira USA offers and looking at their best qualities, uses, and what they can do for you!

Classic Rayon Embroidery Thread

Classic Rayon is a staple in the Madeira embroidery thread catalog. Known for its strength and glossy finish, Classic Rayon is a great all-purpose thread. The soft finish of Classic Rayon embroidery thread makes it ideal for embroidering on children’s clothing, delicate fabrics like performance wear, and more! It is the most eco-friendly thread available, made from 100% viscose rayon and is Oeko-Tex® certified to be free from harmful substances. When running Classic Rayon, it is suggested to start with a tension of about 150 grams force (gF), but of course tension will vary by machine. Check out our specialty test designs page to test your machine tension before running a design! Remember to look for 1/3 top thread, 1/3 bobbin thread, and 1/3 top thread.

Classic Rayon is available in four different thread weights. The standard 40 weight thread is ideal for almost every design. It is suggested to digitize Classic Rayon #40 with an average 4.0 density and to use a #65/9 or #75/11 size needle when stitching. For a thinner, more detailed look, opt for Classic Rayon #60. This thinner embroidery thread was created for designs that require small lettering or intricate detail. Classic Rayon #60 allows you to create letters down to 3mm in size! To achieve the detail and clarity you want with Classic Rayon #60, it is suggested that you digitize to an average 3.5 density and use either a #65/9 or #70/10 needle.

If your design requires a thicker embroidery thread than the standard 40 weight, Madeira USA has two thicker thread options in the Classic Rayon range. 30 weight thread, when used for fill, may cut down on stitch count and production time. This thicker thread is also ideal for decorative stitching! There are many options for a 30 weight thread to be used, but you must remember to digitize to an average 5.0 density. Classic Rayon #30 can use a #75/11 needle or a larger eye #80/12. Need an even thicker thread for decorative stitching and edging? Give Madeira Classic Rayon #12 a try! The thickest thread in the Classic Rayon embroidery thread family, Classic Rayon #12 is a soft, satiny 2-ply embroidery thread. For best results, we suggest digitizing to an average 8.0 density and using a #100/16 large eye needle.

Polyneon 100% Polyester Embroidery Thread

Madeira’s Polyneon embroidery thread is made from 100% polyester and was specially developed to eliminate looping, puckering and thread breaks. The strong fibers hold up well to fast running speeds and commercial laundering. The vibrant colors of Polyneon give a glossy finish that also is resistant to chlorine bleach. Just like Madeira’s Classic Rayon, Polyneon embroidery thread is Oeko-Tex® certified to be free from harmful substances.

Polyneon is available in three different weights. The standard 40 weight Polyneon machine embroidery thread is designed to be used for almost every type of embroidery. To achieve a more detailed look, Madeira offers two thinner Polyneon embroidery thread weights. Polyneon 60 weight thread has the same high quality and fast-running characteristics of the standard 40 weight, but it allows you to achieve small lettering down to 3mm tall as well as intricate detailing. With such detail, your embroidery will appear crisper and easier to read. For best results when using 60 weight 100% polyester Polyneon, Madeira suggests using a #65/9 or #70/10 size needle.

For an even thinner result, Madeira’s Polyneon #75 gives you the ability to create lettering down to 2.5mm tall. Imagine the fine details you could achieve! Polyneon 75 weight can also be used for attaching sequins and for filigree embroidery. For best results, Madeira suggests digitizing Polyneon #60 and #75 to an average 3.5 density. Both Polyneon #75 and Polyneon #60 are developed of the same material as 40 weight, making them all less susceptible to looping, puckering and thread breaks. The strong fibers that make up Polyneon embroidery thread allow it to be run at fast speeds as well.

Which machine embroidery thread is right for me?

Now that you have read about the basic features of Madeira’s Classic Rayon and Polyneon embroidery threads, which one should you choose? The answer to this question depends on the type of embroidery you or your shop does. If you specialize in uniforms and producing items that will be heavily laundered, Polyneon is the thread for you. Does your shop see a lot of monograms, children’s wear, and other more delicate projects? Then you should choose Classic Rayon embroidery thread. Both options are strong threads with the capabilities to produce at fast speeds and result in beautiful finishes. No matter which embroidery thread you choose, you will have Madeira USA quality results!

Specialty Threads… What kinds should I use?

All of them! That’s what we at Madeira USA suggest, anyway. There is time and place for every specialty machine embroidery thread, and some are even more versatile than you think! For example, Madeira’s Frosted Matt embroidery thread can easily replace Classic Rayon or Polyneon threads in a design to give a matte finish and a more realistic look. Supertwist metallic embroidery thread can be used in designs to add sparkle, texture, and dimension! Let’s go over all of the specialty embroidery threads that Madeira USA offers.

Frosted Matt is a polyester embroidery thread with a matte, non-shiny finish. It is a 40 weight thread and uses a #75/11 or #65/9 needle and should be digitized with an average 3.5 - 4.0 density. Not only does Frosted Matt provide a matte finish, but it is also great for outdoor embroidery pieces because of its extreme fastness to light. This means that over time, when exposed to sunlight Madeira’s Frosted Matt embroidery thread will not fade in color!

Fire Fighter flame resistant embroidery thread was developed for use when safety is a concern, especially in the areas of aeronautics, utility services, motorsports and other fields where safety standards are required. This specialty embroidery thread is made from 100% Aramid, which contains Nomex® branded fibers from Dupont®. Fire Fighter thread works best when digitized at an average 4.0 density and it is suggested to use either a #75/11 or #80/12 needle. When using Fire Fighter thread, we also suggest opting for fire resistant bobbin thread and stabilizer as well.

FS Metallic embroidery thread comes in various weights to fit every metallic need! Madeira USA currently offers FS Metallic in weights of 50, 45, 40, 35, 30 and 20. Needle sizes vary based on the weight of the Metallic embroidery thread that you choose:

#65/9 needle = FS Metallic #50
#75/11 needle = FS Metallic #40, #45 and #50
#80/12 needle = FS Metallic #45
#90/14 needle = FS Metallic #30, #35 and #45
#100/16 needle = FS Metallic #20

FS Metallic #50 is great for producing small letters, monogram embroidery and filigree embroidery. FS Metallic #40 can be placed easily in with Classic Rayon or Polyneon to add shine to a design or logo without having to change the needle size. Check out the Metallic Information Page to learn more about Madeira’s various metallic embroidery thread options. Within the Metallic range, there is also Soft Metallic #40, which has a rayon core, making the finished embroidery softer with a more smooth and gentle finish.

Supertwist is another option for metallic embroidery thread! The difference between Supertwist and Madeira’s other metallic thread offerings is that Supertwist is created using a triple twisted process, which twists together a nylon core and a metallic base, that results in a dimensioned thread with a unique texture. The materials used to create Supertwist allow it to be incredibly strong and sewable! Supertwist uses a #90/14 or #80/12 needle and an average digitizing density of 6.0.

Burmilana and BurmilanaCo are two thick embroidery threads that can be used to create a hand-crafted look, a soft finish, and are ideal for chenille and chain stitch embroidery. While both Burmilana and BurmilanaCo are 12 weight embroidery threads, they differ in their material. Burmilana is a blend of wool and acrylic threads, while BurmilanaCo is a blend of cotton and acrylic. Both use a large eye needle (#100/16 is recommended), and should be digitized to an average density of 9.0 for best results. Try using Burmilana or BurmilanaCo for a fuzzy or feathery animal design, and use the Burmilana Brush to achieve realistic details!

Luna is Madeira’s glow in the dark embroidery thread. It is a 40 weight polyester thread that is white but glows green. The glow in the dark effect can only work when the thread is first exposed to bright light for an extended period of time. Luna uses a #75/11 embroidery needle. It is important to note that Luna glow in the dark embroidery thread is for novelty use only. While it is great for costume embroidery and children’s clothing, it is not intended for safety reasons.

Click Here to download a list of all Madeira threads with recommended digitizing and needle recommendations.

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