Stitching tips from the experts: You

A stitcher posted a question about Blending Filament on our Facebook page recently, and the wonderful community of stitchers chimed in with helpful suggestions. Facebook is wonderful for sharing and discussing, and we welcome all comments and questions. Come on over to our page and "like" us at

Here are some of the tips in response to the question, "How do you keep a metallic from breaking?" It looks like the most important factors are: adjusting tension, using shorter lengths, and making sure you have the right needle. 

  • Shorter threads and larger eyed needle - don't pull too tight and slow down — Bev F.
  • Stitch slower, and use shorter threads. — Karen C.
  • Use a larger needle so that the thread won't get worn from rubbing on the ground fabric. — Beth V.
  • Definitely use shorter lengths! — Anita C.
  • Thread Heaven and short lengths. — Emily W.
  • I always use shorter strands and I lightly wet it with a sponge and that helps a lot. — Anne K.
  • Change your needle - your needle might have a burr in the eye that is wearing the metallic down and you might want to switch to a slightly larger needle - it'll make the hole bigger as you pass the thread through the fabric, making it easier for the metallic to pass through the fabric. — Erica K.
  • Use a wider eye needle this way there is no fraying as you pull it back and forth thru the fabric. — Denise S.
  • I have found using short lengths of thread helps out a lot with the breakage. Instead of Thread Heaven (I have never used it so I have no opinion on it), I just used a damp cloth to dampen the thread and it works wonderfully for me. Also, after every couple of stitches I let my needle and thread untwist by holding my fabric upside down and letting the needle and thread dangle on its own and it untwists for me. — Dawn T.
  • Short lengths, don't pull through the fabric too tight, and maybe a needle with a slightly wider eye…Be gentle and patient with it. — Steff W.
  • I use the Japanese needles with any of the metallic threads - the round eye helps with the fraying. Shorter lengths as previously said and keeping your fingers over the eye so the thread slips less. Then tension - then gentle but firm in your handling. — Robin B.
  • Continually twist your needle with each stitch as you go, which will keep it from twisting then breaking. One of my teachers said this is a Japanese embroidery technique. So, for each stitch or two, twist the needle in your fingers a rotation. Then as you go, in between stitches, keep twisting as you pull it out. You will find your thread rarely breaks if you do this. — Mary M.
  • Watch your tension - I've never had an issue with it breaking. Also use shorter lengths and Thread Heaven (thread conditioner). — Susanne C.
  • Use much shorter lengths to prevent so many twists and the wear and tear on the thread as you sew which can cause it to get caught. — Katrina S.
  • With the Blending Filament, I have found that using shorter lengths helps in keeping the filament strong. It means threading a needle a few more times, but the fewer passes through the fabric you make, the less tugging you are doing on the thread… — Carolyn M.
  • Thread Heaven, short lengths and let the thread "untwist" almost every stitch. — Judy K.
  • With Blending Filament, you can sometimes do all of the stitches without it and then just stitch the blending filament on top. Neat thing about that is that it really sparkles and it isn't twisted with the other thread. — Christine F.
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