If we say machine embroidery threads are the most important element of machine embroidery, this would be absolutely justified because the thread is everything when you do machine embroidery.

In this blog, we will address various types of machine embroidery threads, advantages, disadvantages, which is best to use, and how to select the perfect machine embroidery thread.

Table of Content:

What are the Different Types of Machine Embroidery Threads?

There are many machine embroidery threads choices, and high-speed embroidery machines often require especially smooth and strong thread, and beginners need to pay more attention to understanding the different machine embroidery thread types and how to use them.

Below, we have mentioned different types of machine embroidery threads and their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Rayon Embroidery Thread.
  • Polyester Embroidery Thread.
  • Cotton Embroidery Thread.
  • Silk Embroidery Thread.
  • Metallic Embroidery Thread.
  • Bobbin Thread.

Rayon Embroidery Thread:

Rayon machine embroidery threads are the most often used threads in embroidery machines. They regularly work nicely in fast embroidery machines and hardly ever break or fray. High-sheen rayon thread is frequently used as a less expensive substitute for silk threads. The majority of rayon embroidery threads are available in 40wt, while 30wt is easily accessible.

There are many different types and tones available, including variegated shades. Most rayon machine embroidery threads are not colorfast, while certain kinds may be. Therefore, it is preferable to avoid bleaching products of any kind, even those designed for colors. The smoothness and consistency of the stitches made using rayon threads provide for higher-quality embroidered projects.

The way rayon threads are stored is essential since they deteriorate over time. In low-humidity regions, rayon threads should be stored in a refrigerator to extend the thread life for as long as possible. It is even softer than polyester thread and is more suitable for intricate work or works with freestanding lace.

Use For: An attractive choice for decorative purposes, such as appliqué or decorative quiltingand not for holding quits together structurally, such as edge-to-edge quilting.

Advantages of Rayon Thread:

  • Less elastic than polyester.
  • Pretty heat resistant.
  • High sheen.
  • Softer.

Disadvantages of Rayon Thread:

  • Not colorfast.
  • Less durable than polyester.
  • Not as resilient as polyester.

Polyester Embroidery Thread:

Polyester machine embroidery threads are a popular and affordable option, and they come in various colors. Polyester has the advantage of not shrinking, fading, or bleeding. In addition, polyester thread is sturdy and won’t easily break or fray, much like rayon thread.

Polymer resins are used to create a synthetic polyester thread. It can be produced with a matte texture to resemble cotton or with a medium or high sheen finish to resemble silk or rayon.

Trilobal poly is a higher grade of polyester that is lint-free and has a gloss similar to rayon. Polyester is quickly rising to the top of the list of embroidery threads available these days due to its durability and colorfastness.

There are three varieties of polyester threads, the Spun Poly: a combination of spun fibers that seem cotton, the second one is Filament Poly: continuous fiber, and the third one is Trilobal Poly: continuous fiber with a high gloss, which appears to be silk or rayon.

Use For: Machine embroidery, stretch, and synthetic materials, as well as light and medium-weight textiles and quilting.

Advantages of Polyester Thread:

  • Durable. Designed for heavy-duty use.
  • Strength. More tensile strength than rayon or cotton.
  • Colorfast.
  • Retains shape.
  • Recovers stretch.

Disadvantages of Polyester Thread:

  • More elastic than rayon.
  • Lower temperature tolerance than rayon.

Cotton Embroidery Thread:

Cotton machine embroidery threads are created from 100% natural fiber for high-speed machines. Different cotton finishes produce unique outcomes. Users of automatic embroidery machines sometimes ignore cotton embroidery thread.

Yet the truth is that it has a gorgeous, velvety shine and works superbly in embroidery machines. You can select cotton machine embroidery threads with a matte texture to enhance your inventiveness.

Although it works well on most PCs, it’s still a good idea to test it first to ensure smooth operation. Cotton threads are available in regular thicknesses as well as extremely fine types, making them ideal for incredibly delicate and intricate work.

Remember that the likelihood of the thread breaking while embroidering increases with its fineness. Cotton thread is additionally offered in weights up to the extremely fine 100.

There are various types of cotton machine embroidery thread; however, the choice of cotton thread depends on the intended purpose.

  • Mercerized Cotton Thread.
  • Glazed Cotton Thread.
  • Gassed Cotton Thread.
  • Cotton Wrapped Polyester Thread.

Use For: Dressmaking and general sewing with medium-weight fabrics.

Advantages of Cotton Thread:

  • Easily adjusts to changes in fabric since it is a natural fiber.
  • Available in many thread weights.
  • Easy care.
  • Durable.
  • Soft.

Disadvantages of Cotton Thread:

  • Low-quality cotton is linty.
  • Not as much strong as polyester.
  • Low sheen.

Silk Embroidery Thread:

Silk is made from silkworms’ cocoons and is thinner and more elastic with a high luster. It tends to sink into garments suitable for hand embroidery and needlework. Silk machine embroidery threads are fine and perfect for using natural fibers such as silk or wool. It’s very strong, can withstand high temperatures, and is ideal for tailoring.

When it comes to machine embroidery, silk is also a luxurious and sought-after material in the fashion industry. Polyester and rayon cannot compare to the luster and softness of silk thread, which is strong and fine.

Because of these reasons, silk thread can be pricey and difficult to find in certain shades. You should use this thread when embroidering luxurious materials or working on high-end projects. Silk threads come in various weights, but the 30 and 50wt are considered the finest weights for machine embroidery.

Use For: seaming, topstitching, buttonholes, and hand sewing.

Advantages of Silk Thread:

  • Delicately deals luxury fabrics like silk and satin.
  • Has high sheen.
  • Strong and fine.

Disadvantages of Silk Thread:

  • Less durable than rayon.
  • Quite costly.

Metallic Embroidery Thread:

Metallic machine embroidery threads are a less popular kind of thread and are frequently utilized to provide highlights or embellishments. They need a particular kind of needle. This is due to the fact that these threads require extra care because they do have a propensity to break, especially when utilized with a high-speed embroidery machine, which might be frustrating, especially if you are a newbie.

Still, this issue can be resolved by making a few changes to your spooling technique and using a needle designed specifically for metallic thread embroidery. However, they bring glitter to your embroidery designs like no other thread, and if you’re searching for a little extra something, they’re well worth the effort!

Use For: Creating a glittering effects with decorative stitching on clothing or home decor items.

Advantages of Metallic Thread:

  • Provides a unique and decorative look.
  • Good quality metallic thread doesn’t require lubricant.
  • Beautiful sheen with excellent quality stitches.

Disadvantages of Metallic Thread:

  • Frequent thread breakage.
  • Frustrating to work with.
  • Ironing can be problematical because the heat from the iron can melt fibers.

Bobbin Embroidery Thread:

Machine embroidery bobbin thread is also different from regular sewing machine bobbin thread. Machine embroidery bobbin thread is a thin thread with the strength of rayon and polyester that is specifically made for machine embroidery. It can easily bear your machine’s quick movements.

Likewise, bobbin threads are incredibly adaptable and are available in a wide range of sizes. Your bobbin threads should typically be paired with a complementary thread of the same weight.

Use For: Providing a loop for the upper thread to catch onto the upper thread helps complete the stitch.

Tip: Using the wrong embroidery bobbin thread in your embroidery machine can cause skipped stitches, thread breaks, and even tension problems. Therefore, it is often suggested to pair your bobbin threads with another complimentary thread of the same weight.


Hopefully, you may find a thread that meets your demands among the variety available nowadays! Always choose the best supplies and equipment for your embroidery project since choosing the proper thread is just as important as choosing the right needle and can also make or break your final embroidery look.

However, embroidery is not always about getting everything perfect the first time. Be ready for some fairly major trial and error, but one of the finest things about embroidery is learning to appreciate the experimental phase! So, keep learning and updating yourself.