Which One is Better – Rayon or Polyester Embroidery Thread

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There are two embroidery thread camps – the Rayon Embroidery Thread VS Polyester Embroidery Thread.

Which camp are you in? Are you on the right one? Should you switch? Or maybe we should ask your embroidery machine which one it prefers?

Camp Rayon Embroidery Thread

The Rayon embroidery thread boasts of luscious looking embroidery designs, designs that are soft to wear and can be laundered in water up to 203 degrees. Rayon has a high luster and is eye catching.

  • High sheen
  • Stays soft even at high stitch counts

Camp Polyester Embroidery Thread

Polyester embroidery thread boasts that their embroidery thread runs smoothly without thread breaks at high embroidery speeds, will not fade when laundered and is very economical in price.

  •  Durable and will take the abuse
  •  Higher tensile strength
  •  Colorfast and can withstand bleach
  •  Keeps it’s shape
  •  Trilobal polyester has a sheen equal to rayon
  •  Lint free

Which is better?

Both have amazing embroidered results, both have a hundreds of colors and both work well on numerous embroidered fabric types.

But, ask any embroidery machine and she will say “I prefer polyester embroidery thread”. Embroidery machines WANT to run without thread breaks. They don’t like embroidery thread problems any more than you do! So why feed her with thread that does not preform top-notch all the time?

Having a well known sewing machine service center, people call us when embroidery machines start acting up. Many times we find the problems is the embroidery thread. There are threads that work great and threads that need to be thrown in the trash. The key is selecting a quality embroidery thread will run smoothly with little to no problems.

Over the years we have found that Polyester embroidery thread is the MOST SUCCESSFUL running embroidery thread. No matter the brand of embroidery machine, good quality polyester embroidery thread is the best choice.

Currently our retail store (Heirloom Creations in Sioux Falls, SD) stocks the full line of Isacord Polyester Embroidery thread, Mettler Poly Sheen and Robison-Anton Polyester Embroidery thread. There are other good brands out there but we found that this combination gives us the most colors to play with!

Don’t be afraid to test a thread before you use it if you are unsure of the quality or have never tried it before. We have also found that as the popularity of polyester embroidery thread has increased, there are companies that produce lower priced, lower quality embroidery thread. Some polyester threads even stretch! Though the price per spools looks great, we often find embroiderers hating polyester embroidery thread because, not knowingly, they were using a polyester embroidery thread knock-off. And the end result wasn’t a great looking stitch out.

Quilters Like Embroidery Thread Too

Whether you quilt on a home sewing machine or a own a long arm quilting machine, polyester embroidery thread is often a go-to choice for the wide range of colors and smooth sewing. It is also great if you want to hind your stitches when stitching in the ditch.

Whether you are quilting or embroidering, once you find an embroidery thread that is trouble free, stick with it. That is what we do at Heirloom Creations. When we find a thread that works with ALL brands of sewing machine and embroidery machines it gets to stay. If it can’t keep up with our sewing and embroidery machines, we kick the entire brand to the curb and search for something new!

If an embroidery machine starts acting up, what thread are feeding it. It just might be time for a new THREAD DIET.

For more great embroidery information check out this amazing Craftsy class. It has great information for all machine embroiderers. Click below for a preview of this class.

Check out this awesome video starring Isacord Polyester embroidery thread!
By Christophe Thockler

  1. Maga says:

    Something you have not touch on here it the lower melting point of poly thread. I tried two spools of Isacord and was happy with it but after washing the blouse (100% cotton) I went about the ironing with a steam iron on cotton setting and it melted the thread. So for cotton fabric I use the rayon threads. I never run my machine at the highest speed anyway as I find the embroidery looks better when stitched at a more sedate speed. I know this is of course only possible because I am a hobbyist so quality goes before quantity.

  2. Trisha says:

    I used Madeira polyester 40 machine embroidery thread from a cone over somenot seams in a decorative quilt, using my Bernina 570 QE. This was using a decorative stitch and quilting through the usual three layers, all of which puts quite a strain on the thread. Not once did it break and I also ironed over the top with the iron set on cotton to smooth down slightly afterwards, nothing melted or was effected. In comparison, I have used Madeira rayon embroidery thread in both this and my Pfaff machine and found it often broke in use and had a more matt, thicker, raised quality which I did not like so much.

  3. Irene Hamilton says:

    The thread video is starring the Isacord thread, not staring… 🙂

    1. Sara says:

      Thank you.

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