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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Polyester vs. Rayon Thread ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Polyester vs. Rayon Thread
What's your preference?
1975Jumby
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1975Jumby
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Date: 4/24/13 0:42 AM

Since I started embroidering last year, I have been wanting to get a full set of rayon embroidery thread to use for those special projects that won't be washed frequently. After getting my Koala sewing cabinets, I wanted to add the Madeira treasure chest filled with Madeira rayon thread.

However, after receiving a complimentary Madeira rayon thread set from Koala, I just don't see the difference in quality between it and the Metro polyester. So now I'm thinking I'm fully satisfied using polyester and even better, I know the projects will last and I won't have to worry about the threads getting bleached or washed too frequently.

My question is what is your preference? Do you prefer to embroider with rayon only or polyester? Do you switch between types? Curious if others have come to similar conclusions.

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beauturbo
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Date: 4/24/13 6:49 AM

I use both, but also never bought any pre-made up huge thread sets though. I most times actually picked out each color, more single and a lot of my thread (rayon or polyester) is actually on large commercial sized spools.

If I want to embroider on jeans or a towel or something like that, that might get a lot of friction on it in use, or might get bleached, I will choose polyester over rayon there. If it was something like swim wear, I probably would go with the polyester for that too. If using fiber etch to get rid of some fiber, then I have to use polyester thread, as it would "etch" rayon.

If I want to embroider on thin fine silk, or a very soft loose blouse, with the thinnest of thread and keep the very softest of hand or try the very most to make my machine embroidery look more from another time period long ago in the past and look more hand embroidered or keep natural fiber embroidery on a natural fiber fabric, then I will choose rayon or cotton even, over polyester. Ditto if embroidering on something like nylon or polyester organza, and wanting to use a soldering iron on the edge of some embroidery there, to cut/melt the fabric, then I don't like polyester for that, as polyester thread will also melt and get hard edges to it, working with it that way, in a way cotton or rayon, thread just will not.

On everything else, I'm not too picky either way, don't even have one preference at all and if the color is right and I need that color right then, I will often even mix it all up, thread fiber wise, even within the same embroidery design or garment.

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 4/24/13 6:57 AM

I've used both. I loved the shine of rayon and even 10 years ago when I started with embroidery you could get good poly thread with lovely shine. But now that we have trilobal polyester it is possible to get the most gorgeous shine and gleam like you do off rayon or silk, but without the problems of wear, fading, non colourfastness that can happen to some rayons.
I won't be obsessively restocking on my rayon threads when they run out, thats for sure.
At least with good quality poly I know it can handle anything our lifestyle in my home dishes out. And less breakage than I have had on some rayons when embroidering.

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JanyceR
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JanyceR  Friend of PR
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In reply to 1975Jumby <<


Date: 4/24/13 7:36 AM

I like polyester for my everyday things and for most embroidery. A high quality poly really is nice thread these days. However, for things like free standing lace or special items, I use rayon. I just like the way it feels much better, especially lace. And I think rayon is more durable than we think - but definitely not for everyday items that will be used and washed frequently, and possibly bleached.

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RipStitcher
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Date: 4/24/13 8:11 PM

I have both... but just love the look of the Polyester (so far) for anything I've done.

I haven't done any FSL, tho... so good to know that I might want to dig out the Rayon for that if I go down that path.

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sewplenty
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Date: 4/25/13 0:44 AM

Sadie, my Singer Futura, does not like rayon thread so I just feed her polyester and she is happy.

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SandiMacD
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Date: 4/25/13 5:17 AM

I got a smaller set of Maderia from Nancy Z when it was on sale. Just enough colors in a range I often use. That was 5 years ago. I find I use it more frequently for character stitiching due to smaller spool size/shape. My poly is on larger spools which do better on the thread extension.

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Tarrbaby
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Date: 4/25/13 8:14 AM

I just gave my rayon away when I cleaned my sewing room. I think the poly has less breakage and strip back, and is just as beautiful.

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1975Jumby
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1975Jumby
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Date: 4/25/13 2:56 PM

This is great....thanks to everyone for responding. It's nice to know there are others out that are coming to similar conclusions. I'm not saying rayon is inferior to polyester, or that people shouldn't use it, but I was just curious what others thought.

I think the advancements in polyester thread have pushed it forward to compete with rayon more these days. When I did a stitch out comparison, I honestly did not see any difference between polyester or rayon, so that's what got me thinking. I'll just keep expanding my polyester collection at this point.....cheaper and I really do love the Metro brand and also Floriani for those colors Metro doesn't have (their reds are REALLY limited).

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SouthernStitch
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Date: 4/25/13 3:04 PM

I have the Madeira Rayon Treasure Chest that I got super sale priced, plus the ASG discount from Nancy's. I have used it a good bit. I used it even with a very large font on a bath towel. It's held up extrememly well, considering we actually use that towel alot in the bathroom!
Sometimes I'll even mix poly and rayon. That treasure chest has so many colors I just don't have the right shade of in my polyester collection (which is not a chest, just picked up here and there). So, I love and use both!
Of course not on gift or baby items!

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