Metallic thread problem, Help!

Reoccurring question from new embroider:

I need an advice for metallic thread. Specially When I am doing 3D job , keep thread break happens. I tried adjust tension (Top & Bottom) , replace new needle(75/11) , slow speed , adjust density.... I tried 3 different machines , still same problem. I am using Marathon thread. Is it better use Madeira , RA or Isacord? I need a advice .

Thank you in advance...





 As I understand it, (help me out if I am wrong), Metallic thread is made with Mylar chips. Mylar is the same thing they make those metallic looking balloons that seem to float forever. Grip the thread between your pointy finger and thumb and pull the thread and you can feel the chips.
You may have two separate effects interacting with the tension

  1. The larger chips causes more tension in some parts of the thread path because of the larger particles. example.... Butterfly clips. (Think playing cards in bicycle spokes) At the same time the plastic slides through some areas of the thread path easier. Example... under the tension disk where the thread holds the plates apart.
  2. Because of the way the thread is made the strands of fiber holding the thread together may stretch under tension. Hold a piece of the thread about a foot apart and if you pull it it may stretch another 3 to 6 inches. The poorer quality thread will stretch more.

The result is that you hoop your clothing item, which stretches the cloth, and you sew with the metallic thread which is stretched also. There ends up a lot of tension on your design. When you un-hoop the design the clothing puckers and gets worse with each washing.

How to solve the issue...

  1. Some metallic thread stretches so much you may not be able to adjust it out.
  2. Relieve all the tension that you can on the thread. I have even bypassed the pre-tensioner and or the other tension knobs on the machine. This is exactly opposite of what you know works with other thread types. You will have more thread breaks, birds nest and knots coming from the spools but relieving the pressure on the thread works.
  3. Use strong cut away backing. Strong doesn’t necessarily mean thick. You need something that will hold the stitches apart and give support to your design.
  4. Metallic thread has the tendency to knot up and kink. This is because of the rougher thread causes friction on itself and knots up. I have heard that some have had success with running the metallic thread over a strip of Styrofoam. You may want to try the plastic sleeves that some embroidery supply companies offer. They hold the thread on the spools and keeps them from tangling.

Try these and let me know if these help and/or you find something better.