Welcome back to Thread Matters with Aggy Burczyk!
In this issue of Thread Matters I would like to give you my preferred tips and tricks to using Aurifil spools.
Don’t you sometimes really (!) feel frustrated when unwrapping a wonderful new large spool of Aurifil thread and you turn the spool in your hand to enjoy the color and to get to the beginning of the thread … and turn and turn … and you cannot find it?
Be honest: Have you ever tried to ‘wring’ the spool to find the loose end? Are you ever so desperate that you actually take your embroidery scissors out and try to cut into some thread?
No, no, no – it’s so much easier than that!
Simply wiggle the base of the spool a bit (whether 50wt, 40wt, 28wt or 12wt) and it will actually come off.
Et voilà, here is the beginning of the thread. Easy as that!
First tip: I even use the reverse to secure the loose end of the thread when storing the spool. I just wiggle the base off, wrap the loose thread end once around the spool core and snap the base on again. Et voilà again, no more loose thread ends getting all tangled up.
Second tip: Since we survived the challenge of actually having a thread end that we can use to thread the machine, now we have to decide where to put it on our machine.
Horizontal or vertical spool pin… that is the question as most machines will offer both!
Let’s have a look at the Aurifil spools.
You can see from the picture, that the thread crosses itself in a regular pattern around the spool. Aurifil’s Mako, Lana Wool and Poly spools, whether cone size, large or small spool, are cross wound. For best sewing and embroidery results the thread should come off the top of the spool.
The best way to use a cross wound thread is actually in a horizontal spool holder, but it is absolutely crucial to sorrow free sewing to hold the spool in place between a spool cap and a sponge base. Usually they come in two or three different sizes with the sewing machine.
Third tip: The spool cap should not be larger than the diameter of the spool itself, as otherwise it may lead to the thread getting entangled. Upper thread tension might change due to added friction. Or even worse, the thread could even break.
Since the small and large Aurifil spools have such a small diameter, I really prefer the little button spool cap on my Bernina, which actually fits just right into the tip of the large spool itself. No interference whatsoever with the thread coming off the spool.
Some of us love or would love to use the big cones. These are certainly worthwhile, especially in neutral colors which are used more often for piecing. Some of you might not buy cones as they cannot be placed on the horizontal nor on most of the vertical (upright) spool pins as they are just too big. Many sewing machines offer optional add-on or even built in spool holders with a vertical telescope thread guide. These are just perfect for these large spools.
Your machine does not have a telescope thread guide and you do not want to invest in one for your machine? Well, there is a way!
Last tip for today: Place the cone in a big glass or plastic container at the back of your machine and have the thread come up to the first guide, which ideally should be a hook as you can see in the picture. This method works well under two conditions: the cone should be steady and not fall over and the thread must not catch on any edges of the machine, otherwise it will break.
What if you have a parallel-wound (straight-wound or also called ‘stacked’) thread? This spool should definitely be placed on a vertical (upright) spool pin. The spool needs to turn to unwind the thread. Therefore the Aurifil invisible monofilament thread on the small spools for sewing machines are on a vertical spool pin.
I hope you enjoyed these little tips all around the Aurifil spools. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have other problems or need to know anything else.
I’ll be with you again in around a month. And remember: Thread Counts!
Con un caro “Ciao”