by Sewmum1 29 Nov 2016

Any tips for making FSL with metallic thread? I would really love to be able to do this successfully.

I have been trying for far too long to get this to work, I am thinking it may be the designs. I had metallic thread in the top but it just keeps breaking and I had rayon in the bobbin as I wasn't game to have metallic thread in the bobbin area

I have tried an embroidery and a metallic needle, size 11
Tension is at -1
2 layers WSS
Slowed speed to 500st/min
I didn't try metallic thread in the bobbin ( just had rayon in there) as I didn't want to mess up my cutter or have the thread cause other issues

Even after all the above the top metallic thread kept on breaking every 20 stitches or so. Any ideas would be appreciated if you have been able to get this to work. Thanks


by jobaby 05 Dec 2016

Just finished, last night, a dozen FSL owlsl using maderia metallic thread on top and matching embroidery thread in the bobbin. The needle was Superior top stitch and the speed of the Viking Royale was reduced about a forth. Absolutely no touching of any other settings. Now, with this and all the other wonderful comments, you can stay confused for at least a year. Jobaby

1 comment
jobaby by jobaby 05 Dec 2016

Forgot - I put the thread behind the machine and over the hook of the thread stand.

by crossstitcher6 30 Nov 2016

You need to feed the thread horizontally. It feeds better that way and also do all of the above things you mentioned. Good luck, Carol

by meganne 30 Nov 2016

for one thing your needle is too small but let me just share how I learnt to stitch metallic thread without heartache......

The best information I have ever followed, for using metallic threads, is to be found at the link below.
The best metallic THREADS and the absolute best Topstitch needles, for use with metallic threads, will also be found at the same link

Now having said all this, I would not recommend stitching a whole FSL design with metallic thread UNLESS you are using Superior Metallic threads and needles and you follow their advice for stitching out.

There isn't ONE secret trick, it is the combination of all his advice that makes it work.

I still might think twice about using metallic thread for a WHOLE FSL design.
I would probably be very selective about the way the design is digitised and I would probably prefer to choose one where ALL the underlay stitching is completed before moving on to the main top layer and I might only stitch the top layer with the metallic thread.

Obvious reason? FSL, by it's very nature, is far too dense to stitch the whole design with metallic thread.
Just my two bob's worth. :-)

Sewmum1 by Sewmum1 30 Nov 2016

Thank you. You have given some good advice. I will invest some better thread to start with. What I have seems to work very well for open designs but not so great with dense designs. I agree that most FSL is too dense to be completely made with metallics thread, just by its very nature of design. I was just testing out some new designs and experimenting with thread, hoping it would work.
Thanks for the links too, some very good info.

meganne by meganne 02 Dec 2016

I should add that I have bought Superior's metallic threads and even repurchased more of them, I absolutely love them, in my opinion, they are better than Madeira's. I also purchased them for Chris Pennifold and Pauline (Nonna57). hugs, Meg

by jgwatchorn 30 Nov 2016

A very good YouTube demonstration on metallic thread.;t=92s

by sewtired 29 Nov 2016

I don't have much to add to the great suggestions already offered. There is an article somewhere out there on the web that explains that spools of thread are usually wound differently from cones of thread. The cones should be fixed horizontally and the thread should pull off the top and the spools should be placed vertically and allowed to rotate with the thread pulling off from the side. I can also add that I have had very good success with Robison-Anton metallics.

by 02kar Moderator 29 Nov 2016

I have been successful as long as I put the thread on a thread stand away from the machine. I have not had to change needles or tensions. I've been told the distance gives the thread time to cool down. whatever the reason, as long as it works. If you don't have a heavy thread stand, put the spool in a large mug or glass and monitor it that it doesn't fly out. Btw, it does not have to be far from the machine as long as the thread's path is clear. Let us know what works for you and be sure to post your project in the Projects section. You may need to put the metallic thread in the bobbin also.

by pennyhal2 29 Nov 2016

The only thread I never have problems with is King Star. I've used the metallic on top and the bobbin to do FSL. Some of the other threads I have to use Sewers Aid on the spool. Also, this sounds crazy, but I put the thread through a packing peanut before going into the machine. I got this hint from another forum and it does work. I simply thread a needle with the metallic thread and push the threaded needle through the peanut then thread the machine.

by basketkase 29 Nov 2016

I had a heck of a time using metallic in my bernina you it kept breaking constantly.....I did have luck using a metallic needle and Yenmet metallic......I use Yenmet now even in my Melco with great success.........I got the thread on the internet........

by noah 29 Nov 2016

The only thing not said and i do it all except i put my thread stand on the floor so it has a long way to go and works perfect ***also slow it down and decrease tension from 4 to 3 hugs

by rescuer Moderator 29 Nov 2016

I just made a quick and very inexpensive (possible) solution. The plastic cup will need some weight (coins or marbles might work) or glue it to something like a block of wood to prevent it from tipping over. The pink wire is just a large paperclip. (It may need to be bent to prevent the spool from bumping the side of the cup) I used a hole punch to make the side holes. They should line up.

I have a couple of doctor appointments today or I would test it -- I need to do something fun so this would be a good excuse. ;) Maybe tomorrow.

dragonflyer by dragonflyer 29 Nov 2016

Good one, Rescuer...

Sewmum1 by Sewmum1 29 Nov 2016

Thank you this looks good. I will see if I can fashion something similar to fit my spool

sewmom by sewmom 30 Nov 2016

Very inventive!

marianamin2003 by marianamin2003 03 Dec 2016

Thank you for this great idea.

by dragonflyer 29 Nov 2016

Sorry to hear you have been having so many problems...I have been using metallic thread for FSL in both the top and bobbin problems. I use a 80/12 Embroidery Needle (larger eye than a standard needle). I believe a lot depends upon the brand of thread. I am very successful with Madeira, Superior, Floriani, and Sulky. Not so good with Coats & Clark. I use the large 5000 meter Madeira cones and need to use a tall thread stand and I also use a net over the cone. If I use the small spools, I always turn them sideways so they will unroll like a roll of toilet paper. If I do not, the thread keeps twisting off the spool, gets knotted and breaks horribly. Some like Jerrilyn use a packing peanut and thread the metallic thread through the packing peanut with a needle and the peanut sits on the top of the machine just before the threading into the machine begins. I use one layer of woven WSS hooped with a rubber hoop helper on the sides to prevent the WSS from slipping. I usually loosen the tension from 4.0 down to 3.0 on my BabyLock, but rarely slow the speed down (usually keep at 1000 spm)...It could be the design you are using has not been digitized well...I am using a Sonia Showalter angel and her designs are spectacular. If you wanted to test to see if it was the design, I would use one of hers to see how it stitches out. Sewmom had a terrible time with using metallic thread and found that she needed to place the thread spool horizontally and have it roll off like a roll of TP as I mentioned above.) Here is the link to her post...good luck and keep us posted!

Sewmum1 by Sewmum1 29 Nov 2016

Thank you. I was using a tall thread stand but didn't think about a net. Will try that and also coming off like tp. I have used the metallics for other embroidery but this was the first time for FSL. When you have metallic thread in the bobbin, do you turn the auto cutter feature off?

rescuer by rescuer 29 Nov 2016

I was trying to find a good way to explain it. Kim you did a much better job! It is a good thing we have so many Cuties willing (and able) to help. This is a wonderful community!

dragonflyer by dragonflyer 29 Nov 2016

As far as the thread cutter, I leave it on..The large 5000 meter cones are would so that the thread should spool off the top...the small spools are would so it should be pulled off the spool like a roll of TP...hope this helps...There are a couple of special thread stands made to hold the spools like a roll of TP, but I think they are very expensive and you can improvise and make your own very inexpensively...I think I put a link to a pricey horizontal thread stand in Sewmom's post if you want to take a peek..

by graceandham 29 Nov 2016

My only tip, which I am not willing to do myself. Floriani metallic thread is encased in something and it stitches much like regular thread. But, and you knew there was a BUT.... it is quite pricey.

Sewmum1 by Sewmum1 29 Nov 2016

Thanks, why is there always a but and more expensive too? :)

graceandham by graceandham 29 Nov 2016

I think it comes with our territory.

by rescuer Moderator 29 Nov 2016

I looked but could not find a video -- so I will just try to explain. Cone threads are wound differently from spools. Spools need to have thread come off the spool different from a cone. Think of a ribbon spool. If you pull it straight, then it comes off smooth and straight. If you lay it down on a table and pull it up, it will twist and cross. (I hope that made some sense) You may need an adapter like my Babylock machine does.
I am sure others will have great ideas for you to try too.

sewmom by sewmom edited 29 Nov 2016

Some of he metallics are like a flat ribbon which is why they need to unwind flat, not off the top of the spool. I lay my 10 thread stand down sideways and put the spool on it. I still help it a little by hand as it unwinds but it won't twist this way.

Sewmum1 by Sewmum1 29 Nov 2016

I will try that next. I have been using my thread stand with the thread coming from the top of the spool. Thanks

Kampfzwerg by Kampfzwerg 30 Nov 2016

Hello Cuties, last year I made over 100 snowflakes with Madeira Classic Metallic Thread. This was the first time ever I stitched out FSL. The snowflakes were designed for rayon 40 From The Needle of Anne. I used it as top and bobbin thread and a Madeira metallic needle no 80. Its allways important not to let the thread wind off over the top. I use the Martelli Thread Stand, very helpfull with big spools.