Choosing and Using Decorative Serger Threads
Using decorative serger threads and yarns to enhance your serger projects and hand-made garments can put a highly professional finish on your work. While some serger manufacturers require using a certain brand of thread in their machines, many of those thread makers also produce beautiful products used for embellishing fabrics. But don’t feel tempted to experiment with threads or yarns not recommended for your serger; doing so can cause expensive problems.
Types of Serger Threads
Serger thread is lighter in weight than most sewing machine threads. Because it’s exposed to a high amount of friction when passing through the serger and fabric at speeds of up to 1,700 stitches per minute, it’s manufactured with an extra smooth finish that won’t snag. Decorative serger threads are available in a variety of styles.
Variegated cotton thread: While this thread is almost identical to standard sewing thread, the colors change every few inches instead of in longer measurements. This allows you to create more vibrant, colorful designs on your projects.
Multi-colored rayon thread: This thread has a sleeker, more lustrous finish than cotton serger threads. When used in decorative stitching, it produces a beautiful graduated pattern.
Metallic thread: Who doesn’t like a little sparkle in their embellishments? This thread is very strong, smooth, pliable and beautiful. It’s perfect for adding decorative finishing touches to garments and other serger projects.
Holoshimmer metallic thread: Unlike standard two-ply thread, this unique product is made of flat, thin, foil that resembles a ribbon. The thread is coated with a fine layer of polyester which adds a striking reflective effect. Using this thread successfully may require adjusting the tension.
Popular Thread Brands
Always check your serger manual to ensure you’re using the correct threads. Some sergers call for using threads made by specific manufacturers, while others work perfectly when using standard sewing threads. The following manufacturers make some of the most popular threads on the market.
Maxi-Lock Serger Thread
The impressive line of Maxi-Lock® serger threads is extremely popular with home serger users. The ultra-smooth texture and impressive strength in all their threads enable this brand to consistently produce flawless stitches. The variety of threads are available in 72 different colors on cones holding 3,999 and 6,000 yards. And the price is especially reasonable
This popular brand of serger threads includes a stunning line of thread and yarn options made of cotton, polyester, rayon, metallic and nylon. All their serger threads are available in heavy or medium weights. With 56 colors of metallic yarn alone available, choosing several decorative 125- or 250-yard spools won’t be easy.
Do’s and Don’ts
Some sergers allow you to bypass guides or disks for decorative purposes. Check your machine manual for specific guidelines. While investigating your options, keep the following points in mind.
- Do start your decorative adventures by choosing pretty threads that are tightly twisted and smooth to the touch. Running two or three threads in different colors through a looper will ensure a thicker decorative appearance.
- Do use thick threads in both loopers and run metallic thread through the needles. Be sure to use needles that are specifically designed to be used with metallic threads.
- Don’t use thick trims because they must be able to smoothly move through each guide, especially when operated at high speed.
- Don’t use highly textured or bumpy trims. They’re too easily caught on a thread guide, which can forcibly stop the looper and damage the machine’s timing.
Using decorative threads on your serger can make all the difference between producing a professionally finished project and a sloppy, amateurish one. Get to know which threads will work best in your serger checking your manual and trying out different types. Plan the use of beautiful threads and use them where they’ll create the most visual impact. And remember – using gorgeous threads is part of the fun of owning a serger.