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metallic thread

Metallic Threads on my Baby Lock Enterprise 10 Needle Embroidery Machine.

Q. I’m starting a large 64” x 58” Anita Goodesign (Golden Tapestry) project which will use all metallic thread. I have a 10-needle Baby Lock Enterprise machine which doesn’t have capability of pulling thread off from the side. I’m using Superior Metallics Thread with prewound SuperBOBs poly in bobbin. I can loosen the top tension, but there are no numbers so I’ll just have to guess. I’ll stitch slowly at 400 spm.

Metallic thread seems to have static electricity or something wherein it “finds” neighboring threads and mingles with them causing repeated tangles. Any suggestion for that? I tried a cone net but that seems to tighten the tension and cause more breakage.

I don’t know if I can use a topstitch needle in this machine or not. I’ll check with manufacturer. I appreciate any suggestions!

A. Great question and a fantastic machine! We have a Baby Lock Enterprise and love using it for any embroidery project, including our Metallic Threads.  We've recently released a video showing a step-by-step process for stitching Metallic thread on a commercial embroidery machine. (We used a Baby Lock Enterprise in this video.) Please watch it and familiarize yourself with the steps we take to loosen tension and ensure a great stitch. 

Here are several suggestions:

  1. Make sure your machine is well oiled. The bobbin hook should be oiled daily and the needle bars should be oiled after 30 hours (I believe the manual says 30 hours)
  2. Loosen your top tension tension. We unscrew the tension spring until it comes off, and then do about a 1.5 turn back in place.
  3. SuperBOBs are a great choice for bobbin thread. It's a smooth, lint-free polyester which is supple enough for commercial embroidery designs. If you prefer to wind your own bobbins, The Bottom Line is the same thread as our prewound SuperBOBs. 
  4. Swap out the #75/11 embroidery needles for a Topstitch #90/14. Because Metallic is a delicate thread, the larger eye of the Topstitch does wonders in preventing breakage.
  5. If you're design is on a large hoop such as the 8" x 12", put two layers of stabilizer on the back. This can help ease puckering on large designs.
  6. Place a Handy Net over the bottom half of the cone. This will keep the thread from tangling and pooling down.

If your thread is still breaking or you're not getting a good stitch after following the recommendations above, slow down your SPM to the 400-500 range.

Customer's Response:
"I so appreciate your prompt response to my question re: metallic thread. I was able to complete the Anita Goodesign “Golden Tapestry” in the largest format, it is GORGEOUS! I appreciate your ideas, and followed your advice re oiling and tension. I always use Bottom Line prewound bobbins and your Topstitch needles. Thanks again!"

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By: Bob Purcell