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Every once in a while a new mousetrap is invented

Photo by Smartneedle Thread

We are spoiled. Just down right spoiled when it comes to choices in thread. There are reputable brands, manageable put-ups (the amount of thread on a spool or cone), reasonable prices, colors galore, fiber varieties, shimmering metallics, solar-changing hues, boxed sets, individual spools, you name it, we can have it.

But there’s one company that plays to my lazy old heart. They have managed to design a spool that includes a pre-wound matching bobbin. Oh my heavens. They really do know how lazy I am. They know I should be winding a bobbin of matching thread every time I make lace, quilt fabrics, or create free-standing appliqués. They probably also know I don’t. They know I don’t make time for that pesky task. They know I hate to waste an empty bobbin on a thread that I’ll probably only use once in a blue moon. So I imagine (and really this is my imagination – no input from them), they’ve taken it upon themselves to clean up the world of embroidery. I’ll bet they wanted to make everyone’s embroidery looks more professional. And this is one step in the right direction.

And oh, speaking of lazy – I’m on vacation this week. Sorry for the short post but I’ll be back from the Stitching Sisters cruise next week – relaxed, a year older (I’m having a birthday at sea), probably a few pounds heavier but anxious to share photos of our ‘cruise creations’ with all of you. Look for them on Facebook.

This week’s blog sponsor is Smartneedle!  Tell us what your thread fiber of choice is (rayon, polyester, cotton, blends, etc.) and you could win $100.00 worth of Smartneedle polyester thread (and bobbins)!   Just leave us a comment below!

Smartneedle Thread is ideal for any embroidery application. This superior polyester thread wounds on a functional designed spool that carries a color matching bobbin at its base. Great for self standing and In the hoop projects.”

Last week we asked what questions you had for Deborah Jones and Scotty Goodman.  We had so many excellent questions!  The winner of the Designs In Machine Embroidery subscription is…Nancy Sumner!

“I have a top of line Bernina and am intimidated to do much with the embroidery aspect. My dealer says tell me what you want to know and I’ll teach you, but I really don’t know where to start, as I’ve never had an embroidery machine before. Any suggestions?”

For answers to Nancy’s question, be sure to read over the comments in last weeks blog post.

Congratulations, Nancy!




  • Katrina H

    I really like the durability of polyester threads since most things I embroider are washed several times. I will have to see if I can find some of these threads, what a great idea with the bobbin included!

    • Sandra Sanders

      I currently use polyester threads. They are durable and the colors are almost endless. I am fairly new to embroidery and a package of smartneedle thread would a great blessing!

    • Kathy Crafford

      I do a lot of machine embroidery on bed and table linen.I love the sheen of rayon…and have never had a problem laundering it. I have never had any complaints from my customers.I live in a small town so sometimes don’t have the exact colur I need.It would be fabulous to have a collection to choos from…and the matching bobbins are a fabulous idea.

    • Connie Johnson

      I prefer rayon thread for most embroidery due to it’s more natural look. Polyester is my choice for children’s clothing and table linens that get a lot of wear and washings.

  • Marge Jansonius

    I have always used Rayon thread for my machine embroidery but would like to try polyester on some projects. Thank you, Marge

  • Sharon K

    I just love Rayon, that is what I use 90% of the time, a close second would be cotton. I’ve never had a problem with rayon losing color after many washes. I have some towels that are bleached and the embroidery looks beautiful with rayon. Thanks, Smartneedle, I don’t mind winding bobbins, but it’s sure nice to have a place to put the bobbin so it says them with the correct thread. I’ve done all sorts of “unusual” stuff to keep the correct bobbins with the thread.

  • anne britton

    I have always used polyester, just thought for things that were washed often it held up better according to some blogs and groups I have read.

  • Debra

    I use mostly cottons, but love the bling of rayon for home/ craft items.

  • Connie Cable

    Since I am somewhat a beginner, I have mostly stayed with polyester.

  • Francine Mollica

    Never thought I’d love polyester as much as I do, considering I’m a girl of the 70’s and hated the polyester leisure suits of that era! But, it’s carefree polyester for me.

  • Christa Gordon

    I have stuck to rayon all the the time I have done machine embroidery, I love the sheen and feel of it

  • Kay

    I have always used rayon and have never had any problems with articles that are washed frequently.

  • Sherrie Davidson

    I started out using rayon thread – because my local craft store was having a “clearance” on the thread – not because I knew what the choices were! That was three years ago and I now use mostly polyester. The improvements in the thread have been dramatic in terms of shininess! The main reason I use it is because I do so many items that are destined to be washed and polyester is both “fade” and “run”-proof. Wonderful qualities.

  • Geneva deSoto

    I have used polyester, rayon and cotton threads. I prefer rayon, it works great for me.

  • Sue Cubberley

    I like the ease of using polyester. That fact that it is colorfast is really important for items that will receive a lot of wear and tear.

    I like to use rayon for freestanding lace. It just runs through the machine nicely and looks really nice. I am about to start on a lot of lace for my niece’s wedding veil. I am actually looking forward to making all of it for the hem on the veil.

    • Sara Plotka

      I am also planning on making my own lace for a veil. I am new to machine embroidery and rayon thread is all that I have used so far because there isn’t much selection in my area stores and I am too impatient for most mail orders. I have been looking for patterns for lace and haven’t found many suitable for edging on veils. Could you direct me to sites that have lace edging patterns? Thanks for any assistance.

  • melissa

    I like rayon, but where I live my choices are few. I do love poly or poly blend thread for sewing, I can only imagine how nice it would stitch out for embroidery.

  • Lucinda Cummings

    I use polyester thread per the recommendation of the store that I got my Babylock machine from and have had much success. Like so many others have stated, most of the items I embroider are washed multiple times, and the polyester is washes well. It also moves through my machine smoothly, whether it is in the needle or bobbin, and stitches out beautifully with a nice sheen.

    I saw the spools with prewound matching bobbins a while back but have not ordered any yet. Who knows maybe I will get lucky and win some!!


  • Jodi Binder

    I really like Rayon thread the colors are beautiful and the durability has been great. I get great results no matter what item I am embroidering on.

  • Jean Lowenberger

    Polyester, in my opinion is the best all round thread because of its durability, washability and performance. On the other hand rayon has that wonderful shine that makes it look “rich” on certain embroidered items.

    If I am lucky and win the thread set, then that will definitely be my favorite!!

  • michelle

    I have gotten there newsletter for sometime, but only ordered once. I played there games to see if I could win more designs. But I never bought the thread. I am glad to hear that a company like your likes them. I do not like winding bobbins. So this would be a thread I will consider. THe prices aren’t bad either. Thanks for information.

  • AbbyK

    I use a lot of poly for my embroidery but I love rayon for a real color pop some times. You’ll find cotton in my reg. sewing machine though. 🙂 Thank you for the chance to win!

  • Terrie

    Usually rayon, but definitely polyester if I think it might be bleached.

  • Dee

    I was always partial to rayon til I tried the new polyesters. Seem stronger and love the shine they now have.

  • Betsy

    I have an equal amount of rayon and poly threads but prefer the sheen on the rayon for some projects. Smartneedle has a winner with the built-in prewound bobbin!! I’ve tried all kinds of things to keep my matching bobbin with the thread spool. Currently, I use extra long golf tees through the holes of the bobbin and the thread to keep them together. To have the bobbin snap in under the thread spool….genius!!!!!!

  • Beth Shelton

    I generally use rayon thread but have also purchased poly thread. I am finding there are a lot of colors in both rayon and poly and many companies to choose from. I like the idea of the bobbin snap. That will help keep my bobbins/thread organized.

    Beth Shelton

  • Sherrie Lilly

    I mostly use polyester as it is colorfast and launders great. I have tried rayon when stitching free standing lace but my machine does not like it. I love the idea a spool of thread with a matching bobbin attached. Great Idea Smartneedle. thanks for the great ideas and information on your blog.

  • Wanda White

    I LOVE Rayon, but I am going to check out the poly at smartneedle. I am impressed with the spools, bobbin, label set up….hummm gotta place an order!

  • Brenda McNeil

    I am relatively new to this wonderful art of machine embroidery and have only used rayon thread. Most of what I have made doesn’t get washed (pocketbooks) or very little. Have had no problems with it. I will try polyester on an upcoming project though.

  • Debbie R

    What a fantastic Idea! I wish all thread would at least come like that so I could store my bobbins that way. I love their designs and now I love their thread cases at least. May have to try their their to know if I like that. If I win it all the better!

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    I use rayon thread on many projects because I like the sheen of them. But I do use polyester on any baby gifts because they will be washed much more often than adult gifts and I have read that they are colorfast. My machine deals equally well with both.

  • Sarita Alicea

    I do like to use different kinds of threads for texture and improving the digitizer’s wonderful work, but I think when I do that it goes from good to outstanding! Thanks.

  • Carole Corn

    I use both Poly and Rayon but have a slight preference for the Poly, it is so durable. Smartneedle is one of my favorite design sites. I just love their coin bags for kids, their kitchen towel appliqué/hangers and just about all of their designs. Great service!

  • Jana P

    I use usually use Polyester thread – Brother Brand for my Brother Quattro – but I Love the sheen of Rayon!

  • Sharon Duffy

    I have both rayon and Poly, but as I replace, I am using poly. Better for the Grandkids and new Great-grandson!

  • Barbie

    This is the smartest idea I’ve seen in awhile. I’d clear up space with this set! I sure could use it!

  • Wendy Scott

    I like polyester for its bright colors and durability. Pre-wound matching bobbins are to die for!!!!

    Floriani threads are wonderful.

  • Caia M

    I only use polyester – love the shine and the durability. I do a lot of visors that are worn in the sun – I need to make sure the bright colors don’t fade! I love the idea of a matching bobbin for those occasions when I really SHOULD use matching thread…. and even better that I won’t lose it! Brilliant!

  • Rita Corey

    I use polyester for most of my items because I mostly embroider on children’s clothes for my niece and nephews. The polyester threads now have a really nice shine and they launder well, which is a must for kids’ clothes. I love to use Rayon on FSL, especially Christmas ornaments because they shine and catch the light so beautifully. I adore the idea of having the bobbin come with the thread. I really hate to wind bobbins, too.

  • ginny

    I love rayon because of it’s shine, but oply thread fits my embroidery for most projects. I have not tried cotton thread yet.

  • Margaret Pepper

    I use polyester thread most of the time because most of my projects are for children. Kids can get things really dirty so I know that when their embroidered clothing is washed the embroidery will still look great.

  • Vicki

    I use a lot of different types of thread, but my “go to” thread is Rayon, 40 wt. I also love bobbin work, so the bigger threads, and ribbon are also favorites. So happy to see this technique in the new issue.

  • Sue Anderson

    I use both polyester and rayon in my projects. I tend to use polyester in things that will need washing and have found a brand that is as shiny as rayon. I love rayon also for its beauty in the final project. I love trying new threads and discovering how best to use them.

  • sharon

    Being new to machine embroidery, so far, I have only used polyester which I love, I am trying to get the nerve to try metallicas soon!

  • Paula Somers

    I have and use a variety of threads love the sparkle and intense shine of the metallics, the sharpness of the polyester and the selections available as rayon. Each help to make the gifts I design special.

  • camie deHollan

    I love the sheen of rayon, but some of the polys I use have the same sheen and I’m leaning more and more to the polys when I purchase my threads on sale.

  • Sandy Walker

    I love using Polyester since it is so durable and easy to work with.


    I love the sheen that comes with the polester thread. The durability is also a plus when doing intensive embroidery.

  • Barb Stickle

    I use poly thread most of the time but do have some rayon that I use occasionally. I have found that there are times I want to use cotton for free-standing lace.

  • Bev Crabb

    I’m a polyester girl. I just trust it not to change color in the wash.

  • Jane

    Well, I have to be honest! I am just as addicted to thread collecting as I am to embroidery designs and fabric! I know I have a problem but I enjoy using all different types of threads.

  • Shirley R

    I use both Polyester and Rayon. I use Polyester when the item will require a lot of washing as my first choice for its colorfastness. There are some colors that just aren’t as pretty, or available, in Polyester, and then I do mix the two types of threads if I have to, to achieve the desired color combinations. I often use rayon in wall hangings. Both threads work beautifully in my Babylock machine.

  • Betty I.

    I use rayon thread, but would like to try others. What a great idea to have a matching bobbin attached to the spool. Would love to win the thread set.

  • Cindy McCord

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY EILEEN!!! Remember, you’re not getting older, but are getting better!! (Remind me of that in September when I turn 55!!) Depending on what I’m making, I use either Polyester or Rayon threads. Hope you had a wonderful trip!

  • Bev Morrow

    I use mostly rayon thread but have read that I should use polyester for those projects that are washed often. Since I am a new grandmother with a second grandson on the way, I was thinking that now is a good time to switch to polyester. I’m sure that many of my gifts will be put to the washing test! My polyester thread collection is very poor compared to my rayon.

  • Susan C.

    I use both pretty much equally. My choice depends on the project and the color(s) I want to use. Love the matching bobbin idea!

  • Gail Beam

    I am a threadaholic! Metallics, variegated, solar, rayon, cotton, polyester, different thread weights, glow in the dark threads are all represented in my stash, and I mix and match them when I am stitching out a design. The different threads add a lot of texture and fun to a design. I love the idea of having the matching thread bobbin attatched to each spool of thread. My bobbins usually end up in a box all entangled together, and I can never seem to find the bobbin that matches the spool of thread that I am using. Thank you Smartneedle for the chance to win a fabulous set of thread with matching bobbins

  • Joyce Cate

    I prefer the 40 wt. polyester for everyday embroidery because it has almost as much sheen as rayon at a more economical price.

  • Lola

    I would love to try polyester thread. ESP if it is free.

  • Deane

    I prefer rayon, but use polyester a lot because of pricing!

  • Gayle Bowers

    What a great idea! I like to keep my bobbins with my spools so I cut straws in half and slide them over the dowels on the thread racks to extend the length so I can put the bobbins on top. I really like this better, especially, since it also keeps the thread from unwinding!

    I have always used Rayon just because it was what I started using. But I hear lots of great things about Polyester and am definitely planning to try them out.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle, from Aisle 3

    My machine seems to like rayon thread, so I haven’t given any other threads much of a try!

  • Bonita Hendrix

    I love the polyester threads as they take the washings so well and can use bleach too!! I use only polyester.
    First time on the website and blog….love it…good job!!

  • Barbara

    I love rayon thread for embroidery,polyester for sewing. I also like some of the varigated threads for embridery too.

  • Linda

    I use mostly poly for embroidery, but occasionally rayon works out better . For quilting on my emb. machiine, I prefer cotton. It is good to see more choice in thread. I would love to win!

  • connie

    When I got my machine I ordered a boxed set of rayon. I didn’t know about polyester. I have gotten around to collecting a set of polyester spools. I guess it’s about time.

  • Heather Miller

    I always use polyester thread.

  • Debbie St. Germain

    I usually use polyester threads for my machine, it seems to work the best and works on all fabrics. I love the idea of having a matching bobbin, I hate winding them.







  • Elaine L.

    A matching bobbin could have matching thread but how would you know the bobbin size would fit your machine?

  • Desiree Kumpf

    I use polyester for embroidery, just in case the person who receives the item uses bleach. I too am lazy when it comes to winding bobbins, so that’s a fantastic idea Smartneedle had!

  • Marianne

    Depends on the project that I am working on. For embroidery I like polyester thread and I like the idea of bobbins because when I want the same color of thread on the other side to match the front side.

  • Martha Hubbard

    When I first started MEmb, rayon was all I knew about. I only bought that type. I will try poly now- especially if it is priced better but is shiny too. Hope the cruise goes well. Would love to do something similar but on land, as I get motion sick…reaallyy motion sick!
    Thanks for all that you share.
    Thread with attached bobbins? Wonderful!! Why didn’t I think of that?

  • Lynnell Boyd

    I use polyester most of the time. It is my favorite! I love the many color choices, the shine and the durability. I also use metallics sometimes because I love anything sparkly and shiny. What a great idea, to include color matching bobbins!

  • Paule-Marie

    Cotton for piecing quilts, poly and rayon for machine embroidery, though I will MEmb with cotton if that is the look I want

  • Jackie

    I love rayon thread for most of my machine embroidery. I love the shine it has. I have used poly for the grands on clothing items that will be washed alot. Haven’t tried cotton yet, but hope to in the future. That is truly a good idea to have a matching bobbin right with the thread…I too am lazy and hate to have to wind a bobbin when doing lace.

  • rosalee

    I am so new, and all I have used so far is rayon. I would love to try poly as I need wash-ability in most things I intend to do. And the bobbin is awesome! TIA.

  • Viv

    I use both rayon and polyester thread, sometime both within the same embroidery project. I’ve never had a problem with fading, or in washing of either. I’m usually looking for the color I need, not whether it’s rayon or poly. I really like the bobbins to match idea!!

  • Greta

    Poly is my choice for things that will get lots of wear and tear, Rayon is my choice for decorative items that need that extra sheen and pizzazz factor. Glow in the dark is my fav for perking up Halloween items, while metallics show their stuff at Christmas. I don’t much use cotton blends unless it’s for a retro item and I don’t do much of that kind of work. I have yet to try Smartneedles thread with matching bobbin but am very intrigued!!

    thanks, Greta

  • Alice Luchini

    I love polyester thread but I have so much rayon, that I find myself frequently mixing and matching them together. Many of my items don’t get washed so I don’t worry about fading. Actually, I’ve never really had much trouble with either, but the always shreds more for me then polyester. When I want an old fashion look, I reach for cotton, silk, or a cotton blend. Love them all, really!

  • Caroline Weber

    I like polyester thread the best because it is durable and washable. The Smartneedles thread with the matching bobbin sounds awesome. Definitely would save time when using many colors of thread in a project.

  • Beverly McDaniels

    I only use polyester, it can be bleached if put on a white shirt It is heavy enough that it won’t shred if doing canvas.

  • Tonia

    I haven’t paid much attention to what it made of. I have just been getting colors I like. Maybe I should start looking at them more closely.

  • Mary Anne

    I really, really like metallics! The metallics that work the best on my Babylock is Maderia. I almost never have a problem when I use Maderia.

    For regular sewing my preference is polyester. It works rain or shine, humidity or dryness and I don’t have to give a second thought to how it’s going to work.

  • Mary Coonts

    I recently entered all of my threads into the thread manager component of my software. I have over 300 threads! I have mostly rayon but was surprised that I have a lot of polyester now as well. One of the most fun things about collecting threads, is the variety. I recently used some glow in the dark thread and some solar active thread.

  • Janice Beitz

    Most of the time I use polyester thread because many of my projects go to our grandkids and have to stand up to the washer, dryer and 7 year old boys. I just made free standing butterflies for a friends “Fairy Garden and the new Smartneedle prewound bobbins would have really saved me a lot of time.

  • Martine

    When I bought my first sewing machine in 1963 you could only buy cotton embroidery thread which I used for free hand embroidery. I loved the sheen of the cotton and still use things I embroidered then.
    My first embroidery cum sewing I bought in 1992 and then I could only get rayon. I’ve used Madeira ever since and like the shiny results in most instances. Sometimes I still use cotton, especially for baby things.
    3 years ago I bought my first polyester thread. I like the durabilty, but I’m not to happy with the colours. Maybe I should shop around for a different brand before I decide which I like best.

  • Pam M

    It’s horses for courses. I like cotton for quilting and quilting embroidery although I have did quilt one quilt with variegated rayon thread. (It was the perfect colour, so how could I not?) I used to be a 100% rayon for embroidery girl – the sheen on quality rayon threads is still unsurpassed. Early polyester embroidery threads were not easy to use (twisty/twangy/loopy) nor were they particularly lustrous but the ones available now are very much improved. They pass through the thread path readily and look very nice indeed so I am now a polyester convert. Can’t recall the last time I bought rayon – every purchase these days is polyester.

  • Kathy Schmidt

    I do love poly embroidery thread the best as it seems to be a much better quality than rayon, but sometimes it can be cost prohibitive. I use my loads of rayon for most of my embroideries, but for anything “special” I always turn to my stash of polyester. These new threads with the bobbin sound like a great idea. It’s about time someone came up with an idea like this. Thanks for letting us all know about it Eileen! As usual your blog is a wealth of information

  • katiemae

    I use polyester thread because I don’t want to put all that work into a project, an then have it ruined if it has to be washed. I work at a quilt store that sells embroidery machines and I always recommend polyester thread to my customers. I like its durability.

  • Sylvia

    I have used whatever has been on sale up to this point and as my items are usually gifts (and usually won’t be washed much) I have not had much feedback as to it’s durability. Most is rayon.

  • Sharon Knuckles

    I am fairly new to embroidery and have used polyester thread. I would love to use some of the rayon. I live in a rural area so I order most of my supplies from the internet.

  • Marcia Dumas

    I would love to try some smartneedle thread in the polyester type. I have a limited supply of this and lots of rayon that I will use up.
    The smartneedle colors look wonderful for all my combination embroidery and quilting projects! Love the idea of a ready to go bobbin included–that is really smart!

  • Sara

    I use Madeira’s Polyneon. For some reason my machine doesn’t care for the Rayon threads. I also love the idea of prewound colored bobbins! That would make everything so much easier. 🙂

  • Baby-Leaf Knits

    Hello, I’ve always used rayon, and I’m just beginning my company. Would love to try polyester in my items. If it works it would be great since it’s a bit less pricy than rayon. Thank you for the chance to post!!

  • Paula

    I use cotton for quilting, but polyester for embroidery. I love having a variety of colors at my disposal!

  • Aimee Berger

    I think I must be a greek or “edgy” or something… I have been toying with poly for a while and how it will work with sublimation printing to create various effects (using a cotton garment so that the garment resists the dyesub).

    FYI – the Posh Pincushins arrived yesterday…. I had to deliver flowers to a new baby in my husbands unit (had to, as if I didn’t relish every moment of it), so I haven’t gotten started playing with it. But oh, the ideas it spured. Thanks!! Its my first bit of blog candy ever!

  • Joy Wright

    When I give a gift with Machine embroidery on it I always use Polyester thread because I don’t know how they will launder it and Poly thread will stand up to most any type of mistreatment and still retain the beautiful color and sheen.

    I have never had any shrinkage or shredding or color loss and i know that some gifts have even been thru Clorox but I woudn’t recommend that!!!

  • Darlene Warren

    My preference is polyester. My machine loves it so I like to make my machine happy…like the saying goes “If mama ain’t happy no one is happy”…same goes for my machine. If my machine ain’t happy I ain’t happy. I love the idea of matching bobbin too!

  • Leslie

    I had never used metallic thread prior to purchasing the PR-1000. My first project was a 14 x 14 butterfly and I decided to take the plunge and use all metallic thread – it came out beautifully and I have used metallic thread frequently since. Usually I choose thread for my embroidery by color not type. I mix poly and rayon freely and have had no trouble with either. I like the idea of a matching bobbin included with a spool of thread – it will surely save us time so we can get right to the fun part of embroidery – the stitch out.

  • Lyn

    I love using polyester embroidery thread. Rayon used to have more sheen, but these newer polyester threads are just as Sheen-y, IMHO… 🙂

  • Beth

    I use Madeira Rayon probably 90% of the time but I have some Madeira polyneon as well. I think the rayon has a nicer sheen.

  • Terrie

    I use poly most of the time. I think I have 4 spools of rayon that I purchased when my favorite store was out of poly in the color I needed. I have a few metallic spools and some twisted. I mostly use one brand of thread (why mess with a good thing?), but I like trying new brands, ’cause you just never know when you might find a better mouse trap.

  • denise tucker-danko

    I love all the threads, I started with rayon and now use a of lot of poly. I also like to use the multi colors for names on my projects.

  • Lorrie Vik

    I use poly only because that it what I was taught when I purchaced my machine. Iwould love to win this thread because I recently started an embroidery business to help pay for my kids schooling.

  • Cindi

    After using Rayon on a white shirrt, then washing it with bleach, I almost always use Polyester.

  • Bettie

    I use several different types of thread; it depends on the project I’m working on. I use cotton for quilt piecing and hand quilting. I use both polyester and rayon for my embroidery projects, and I sometimes use metallic threads. It all depends on what result I want.

  • Jan B

    So far I have used polyester thread- I just bought a Brother SE400 ostensibly to embroider our company logo on my contractor husband’s work shirts, jackets, etc. So far I am overjoyed at the results and plan on doing a lot more than company projects! I can’t wait to try other types of thread.

  • Darlene Jacolik

    My thread of choice is rayon. I love the sheen and have an extensive collection. I have used polyester for some of my FSL projects, since it was recommended by the digitizer, and have had success as well. I think the spool with the spot for the bobbin is perfect, had previously seen it on the Smartneedle website, but just couldn’t make the investment right now.

  • Michelle

    Polyester Has always been my choice! The colorfastness on the brand that I use holds up really well in harsh laundering conditions like company uniforms. But I am always interested in new mousetraps!

  • Jan Gunter

    I have used both rayon and poly and love them both and my machines work well with either one. Don’t care for metalic it is just a pain to use. Love the bobbin feature that would be great.
    Thanks for the new and improved mousetraps!!!
    Jan G

  • mary

    I like Rayon because I do a lot of free standing flowers, etc

  • Donna

    Prewound matching bobbins and a place to store them with the thread! As my momma would have said “That’s the best idea since sliced bread!” LOL.

    I mostly use rayon thread for my embroidery projects because I like the look of the shinier thread but I do have a collection of polyester threads that someone bought me as a present when I first got my embroidery machine. Sadly its not very good quality thread and most of the spools have spots where they have been tied together, etc. I definitely taught me that you get what you pay for and cheap thread is not wroth the trouble it causing in the sewing process.

    Can’t wait to see the pictures from your cruise. Wish I was there. Happy Birthday!

  • Jackie

    I’m with you I never seem to make the time to have the bobbin match the thread unless doing FSL. How great that a company has included this. I’ve only ever used rayon thread when embroidering though I have a friend who only uses polyester. I love the look and feel of rayon, the sheen just adds another touch. I don’t believe one can have too many threads, fabric or embroidery designs for that matter, plus I always tell my husband I’m bringing them with me when I die as I’ll have lots of time to play as I won’t have housework.

  • Kathi

    I primarily use polyester for my machine embroidery. I sometimes use rayon threads when I want the added sheen – like for table linens. We are soooo fortunate to have such a wide choice of thread colors and types.

  • alayna

    I only use rayon, but only because that is what I thought you were supposed to use. I am completely uneducated on the different kinds of thread. I’ll have to read up on it!

  • melinda solomon

    Hello , to all ,I use poly, because ,thats what I heard was the best to holding up through multiple washing , I would love to have the smartneedle thread as I have lose bobbins lying around evey where from FSL work ,and never can remeber which color matches which, with all the shade colors, I have looked at their threads multilpe times and are on my to buy list , I think there smart ideal with the bobbin on the bottom it’s awesome and orginized , also check out there embroidery designs they have so very cute ones ,back to my wish list, the threads are on it ,but being on disabilty and on a tight budget, as I know eyerone is , I’ll keep on dreaming Thank U mel

  • Mary

    I usually use Rayon thread because it is what most of my local stores carry. I know polyester is stronger and doesn’t get ruined in the wash. I would love to try this poly thread and the bobbin idea is brilliant!

  • Dale Fedor

    I use both poly & rayon thread but if I am doing something for a child/baby, I use poly only. Also, learned that I HAVE to use poly when I make a door hanging. Rayon doesn’t not like sunlight.

  • Denice

    I use polyester thread the most as the majority of the projects I make will be washed. The quality of the polyester threads these day is very good with a high sheen that matches rayon. I have even been known to mix rayon and polyerster thread when I need a specific colour. The one draw back is I find many poly brands colours are often on the muted side while rayon has brighter truer colours.

  • Gina

    I started with Polyester thread, and I like it. My husband does the laundry and I don’t have to worry about anything getting ruined, lol! Although it’s interesting to read that rayon is more durable than I thought. One day I might try it but I’m also really interested in cottons too!

  • Mitzi

    my thread choices are driven by the type of motif involved, the fabric, and how it will be used or laundered. generally, I love the sheen on rayon, but enjoy the durability of poly, which lets me ramp my machine up to full speed. I also have fun using fine heirloom-weight cottons for special applications

  • karin

    I started using only Sulky rayon but I’ve since learned that Robison & Anton polyester is just as good. Lots of luster and sheen with either, they’re wound nicely for smooth off-loading. Lots of color choices, too!

  • Sue Duisenberg

    When I first started machine embroidery, the company of the machine make sold a box of thread with the colors that matched the designs built in and also the cards for the machine. I have a good supply of those polys but have since branched out, using dmc cottons as well and many rayons and metallics. I love a good supply of threads all the same weight.
    I have since begun using the polys for quilting. I still have that “only cotton” shouting at me but I do it anyway

  • Doreen Linehan

    I have mostly polyester but at the embroidery store I’m working at we usually use rayon. I’m satisfied with both

  • Katherine Harrod

    I’ve always used Rayon since that is what the Pfaff dealer recommended. I haven’t had a problem with it and never heard any complaints from those who received thing I embroidered for them. After reading these comments, I will try Polyester and see how compares with the rayon that I’m used to using.

  • Berenice Trickett

    POLY, POLY, POLY! I do mostly towels, blankies and pillowcases for kids and my childrens’ friends. I had a parent return a blanket that I had done in rayon and wanted to know if I could “fix it”. Never had problems with the poly… I would like to kiss the wise person that came up with matching bobbins, all hail!!!! Bobbin winding is always undertaken with a prayer and a long sigh. My least favorite part of sewing/embroidery. I am waiting for a machine that has preloaded bobbins that just slip in at thread color changes. Hmmm, maybe I would upgrade then!

  • Barbara McGrath

    I mainly use polyester thread for the lovely range of colours & durability but when the occasion arises I also use Rayon thread. Loved the idea of a matching bobbin – Wow great thinking!!!!

  • Virginia Perry

    What a great idea. I use prewound bobbins, but have to wind a bobbin when I make free standing lace. I wonder if the bobbin and thread are somehow attached or if I’d need to get bobbin-buddies. I have used rayon forever. It would be good to try something else.

  • Eva Salo

    I’ve used rayon thread because that is what I started with, but would love to have a supply of poly to try. Love the idea of the matching bobbins, especially for free standing lace work.

  • Linda Hedelund

    I have used polyester and rayon and like the polyester the best. Just love the matching bobbins.

    thanks, Linda

  • Barbara

    Most of my projects are wearables, and the recipients (myself included) are real people who make real messes. My thread of choice for these projects is polyester — and because I it’s what’s in my thread box, I use it for freestanding designs and love the results. I’ve been eager to see the SmartNeedle thread and bobbin combinations — wish I’d thought of that one!

  • Toni Melton

    I always use poly for anything washable…clothing, towels, bed linens. I use rayon or poly for things I’m going to hand on the wall, for some FSL like ornaments or suncatchers, and sometimes cotton for some FSL that I want to be sturdier like doilies or FSL hats.

  • jan L

    I like it all!!! I love all threads!! I just can’t get enough thread!!

  • Sandra S

    I use and like polyester since all the designs I create are used on shirts that go through regular washing cycles. Don’t have to worry about color run or fading.

  • Irene Anderson

    It seems every one does laundry their way, so I find it best to use polyester. Polyester is durable and non-fading which is a plus. But for FSL I use Rayon.

  • Elaine Tabor

    I love polyester thread. I make a lot of embroidered quilts for family and I don’t have to worry about them fading in the wash.
    I use Rayon for Wall hangings, and FSL items. Love the shine!

  • Deborah

    Smartneedle has that name for a reason! What an innovative idea. Polyester has always been my thread of choice. I hate to wind bobbins and look forward to trying this new brand.

  • Calla

    I seem to have fewer “issues” with polyester thread so it’s my default thread of choice. Polyester thread breaks less, tangles less and wears longer than other threads like cotton. Polyester also winds bobbins smoothly and evenly.

    Now if I’m embroidering something special, I’ll grab rayon for a sleek shiny appearance.

    Good question and interesting replies!

  • Dee Dickerson

    Love Smart Needle, for the longest time could not find the correct prewound bobbins for my machines .I have 2 and they take different bobbins.Smart Needle had them at agreat price ! I generally use polyester for most projects, love the sheen, varied hues and color selections. Once in a while a rayon, and once in a great while, cotton . I am terrible when I see a color I can’t resist, have to have it . They are lined up like colors of the rainbow on my counter
    ( and like rainbows, make me happy!)

  • Carol Seavitt

    Any color, any type — just love the thread. Poly has been my preferred type lately. Have a great cruise — and Happy Birthday to you Eileen. My bday is Christmas in July (the 25th). Always fun.

    • Eileen Roche

      Thank you Carol – Happy early Birthday to you! July 25th was my father’s birthday – always a big celebration in my family and still is – even though he’s gone, it’s a wonderful day to celebrate his life. This year, I’ll think of you too on the 25th.

  • Lynn Swanson

    I really like rayon, but will also use poly. My all time fav is stitching designs with varigated colour. I love the smart thread idea with the bobbin – brilliant.

  • Kari Kechter

    I love the sheen of rayons, but lately I prefer the longevity of polyester (and the colors and shine are always improving).

  • Bonnie Coalson

    I love the bright colors you can buy in polyester threads and they are very durable. The grand kids love them too!

  • Beth Rowan

    I prefer rayon, I like the sheen. But I’ve started using more polyester for the durability. Basically, I use whatever thread I think will look best!

  • Martha

    Would prefer polyester for machine embroidery because of durability. When I first got my embroidery machine all I could find was rayon thread in stores so I have lots. I have slowly been collecting poly thread.

  • Kathy

    I normally use Rayon but would like to use some poly. This thread looks great

  • Froma Sommers

    Mosaic Napkin Holder
    This lovely napkin holder is made from
    scraps of fabric combined in the hoop. This fun project makes the perfect table display.

    I purchased this thinking it was the in-the hoop download. When I downloaded it, I was quite annoyed…I was sent to a site to buy the ITH download.

    I IMMEDIATELY called and was told that the $3. would be credited to my card. Today I received the Teddy Bear. When I called, because I hadn’t been issued the Download for that item, I mentioned that I had not received the credit. I was told that there wouldn’t be one, I only paid for the PDF. I have been making these for many years and really don’t need a PDF, I can make them in my sleep.

    Needless to say, I am quite annoyed.

  • Jodie Hickman

    My favorite is polyester. For making garments I prefer silk. Lately I have been working on quilts with Cotton covered polyester and remember how much lint cotton creates!

    I have not done much of my embroidering yet. I haven’t had lessons on my machine.

  • Michele McLean

    I have learned about embroidery thread the hard way, by just using what I had in the begining, I had done a quilt with rayon thread because that is what I had, was so new didn’t know there was a difference. Now I know Rayon is for things that are not going to be washed a lot, the color fades as it is washed. So now I mainly use poly thread, most of the things I make are made for kids or items that will be washed a lot, but I still use rayon on other items like bags or wall hangings that will not get washed as much.
    I have to admit I am still kinda new since I have never used metalic thread yet, I will try it though just a bit afraid of it LOL

    • Karen

      Just a couple of tips. Just set aside some time to do some “test” swatches w/ your metallic threads. You might want to get some smaller spools, until you fiind the brand your machine likes. You’ll find that some brands are easier to work with, especially if the thread feels smooth & not brittle. Make sure to use a metallic needle — it DOES make a difference! Some metallic threads break as they bend to pass thru the thread guides, so most require that you lower the tension a bit. Once I find a thread that doesn’t embroider nicely, I mark the spool on the bottom, so I know I won’t try to use it & get aggravated fighting my way thru a design! Metallics can give a great effect – eleganct & dramatic, but be sure you don’t use it with a heavy-fill design. Good Luck!

  • Linda


  • Karen

    My go-to favorite thread has to be polyester. I use it for almost everything I embroider, as I can trust that it’s colorfast. That’s so important when you don’t know if the recipient will end up laundering the item you make (yes, even home decor items). Once it leaves your hands, you have no control! I, too, started out w/ lots of rayon but use it rarely now.
    My favorite home dec fabric is moire taffeta. When you flip to the backside, you have a matching color w/ a different effect (no moire, sometimes just slightly more ribbed). It’s also sturdy & requires less stabilizing. I’ve made several pillows for friends & use the “wrong” side for the embroidery & the moire side for the unembroidered areas & sometimes in contrasting colors. You just have to decide if the moire will detract from your embroidery! I also like embroidering on sheer fabrics, especially to make 3-D embellishments & fancy gifts (for brides, etc).
    Just recently finished a cutwork embroidery sampler that I’m assembling into the center of a 2-color quilt top. My weekly quilt group is anxious to start hand quilting on it!

  • Penny Martin-Holly

    I use polyester thread for most of my embroideries. I give away most of my projects as gifts, and love the fact that it is colorfast. It launders beautifully and I love the sheen. Wonderful idea from Smartneedle Thread to include a pre-wound bobbin!

  • Michele

    I love to use polyester thread in my projects It has a beautiful sheen.Not only that, but since most of my projects are kitchen towels, which are sold as fund-raisers for my sons high school band, I am not sure if they will be bleached or not. Since polyester does’nt lose its color, I don’t have to worry about my work losing it’s color!

  • Elizabeth P

    I love using polyester thread. It is so versatile. On an item which is strictly decorative, such as a wall hanging, I will mix my threads. But, I use polyester for all my wash and wear items.

  • Sara

    I love polyester, the brightness of the colors, and the fact that when washed it does not fade.
    I have tried rayon thread, but I really did not are for it. I stitched a hand with rayon and it faded the first time I washed it. I was very disappointed. But that was when I first got my embroidery machine. I have found a brand of polyester that is very reasonable and the the quality is wonderful. I have tried a few other brands but I like most have my favorite.

  • Linda


  • Betty Raybourn

    My 8yr old granddaughter loves to touch and rub designs I have embroidered on her shirts using polyester threads. The poly doesn’t shred or absorb ketchup from those little fingers! Love that poly thread.

  • Evelyn Gonzalez

    Polyester! For us beginners, it’s the “all around best choice.” One day soon I’ll graduate to cotton and rayon, but right now I’m a little gun shy. Polyester, or so I think, sews almost all fabrics.


  • Barb fowler

    I have used a variety of threads, as my sewing projects are widley varied. For Embroidery I usually use rayon, but have had success with polyester also. I just like the sheen of the rayon and have never had a problem with laundering. I think that the bobbin idea is wonderful. Is there more than one and are they refillable.

  • Janet Walsh

    I love the Smartneedle threads and matching bobbins. Their polyester has a sheen almost resembling rayon.

  • Connie Thomas

    I vary my thread depending on what I am sewing my embriodery design on. Polyester is durable and washes well, but sometimes I like the sheen of rayon just for the way light reflects off it. I guess I’m a double sided embroiderer:) CJT

  • Excellent site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

  • site

    Is it alright to place part of this in my blog if I submit a reference to this web page?

  • Pat Snyder

    Eileen is so right, we are spoiled and we DESERVE it!

    Embroidery gets more exciting every day with every new concept and advancement. How wonderful to have site like this one to learn about what is going on.


  • Rodney W.

    I love my Polyester but use Rayon every once in a while. I like the versatility of polyester and nowadays the sheen is just as good as the rayon. I’ve used Smartneedle thread before and LOVED it.

  • Tammy C.

    I use polyester thread most of the time. But every once in awhile I will use some rayon on special projects. Thanks for a chance to win a great prize.

  • Debra

    Rayon for embroidery, cotton for heirloom and trying in polyester

  • Further, Indian history is recognized by
    museums, dance forms, Forts, Palaces, etc. Don’t miss out the golden chance
    of travel the world. Have extra photocopies of your passports and travel documents, and keep them separate to the originals in case
    of loss.

  • Neville

    I would act as the creative producer at a salary per episode.
    In the interview that accompanied her sexy photo shoot, <. It is also a way for shoppers to stock up on hardto find D-Cup bikinis, DD-Cup Swimwear, DDD-Cupswimsuits and E-Cup bikinis as well as beachaccessories including cover-ups, sandals and sexy dresses for resortwear.

  • Marilynne Kulpa

    When I began machine emb years ago, invested in rayon thread. My thumbs reacted immediately with long, wide splits that my DNA everywhere. I switched to poly and my thumbs healed….I give poly thread 2 thumbs up!

  • I almost never comment, but after reading some of the responses on Every once in a while a new
    mousetrap is invented | Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog.
    I actually do have a few questions for you if you
    do not mind. Could it be simply me or do some
    of the comments come across like they are coming from brain dead folks?
    😛 And, if you are writing on other online sites, I would like to keep up with everything new
    you have to post. Could you make a list of every
    one of your public sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page
    or twitter feed?

  • Elizabeth

    I have been attempting to embroider for a few years, I have enjoyed all threads. For some reason I cannot wind a perfect bobbin, I will definitely be trying the prewound in matching colors! How would you store the matching bobbin with the thread?