embroidery thread

Word to the Wise: Consistent Thread

Kristine Shreve is the Director of Marketing for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She developed and writes two blogs—the EnMart Threaducuate blog and the SubliStuff blog. Shreve also maintains the EnMart Twitter account and Facebook page. She can be reached via email at kristine.shreve@myenmart.com

Everyone has their likes and dislikes when it comes to thread brands. When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to know what brand will best serve your needs and the needs of your customers. Some people buy thread based on what comes with their machine while others work more with colors they need to match rather than thread brands they like. Of course, embroiderers also buy based on price, and often the lower price always seems to win. One thing that isn’t usually considered, but should be, is consistency.

A consistent thread is one that retains the same properties over time. Things like color hues, tensile strength, and quality remain consistent, and costs stay reasonably steady. What you received the first time you used the thread, is the same as what you received the 31st time you used it. So, why is consistency important? Well, for four major reasons:

Reason 1: Colors don’t change

Anyone who’s matched a color for a customer knows the importance of color consistency. Once you find a color match for a client's logo or graphic, you need that color to match every time you do an order. The last thing you need is a thread color that changes with every dye lot. 

Reason 2: Strength and durability

Inconsistent thread has weak spots where the fibers are uneven. It has tension inconsistencies and is prone to breaks while a consistent thread is even, sews smoothly, and has limited thread breaks. 

Reason 3: Price

Consistent thread is more likely to be pricier, but the quality far outweighs the cost. The price of a more consistent thread will likely not fluctuate a lot because manufacturers source quality supplies from a secure supply chain. Aside from adjustments due to inflation, the price should stay reasonably steady.

Reason 4: Sew-out

Don't lose time on tension and machine adjustments. Consistent thread sews out the same with each design. A thread you can rely on is one that's predictable and creates satisfactory embroidery.  

Keep the long term in mind when choosing a thread. Yes, consistency isn't initially cheap, but faster production, stable color, and pain-free sew-outs justify a higher price.