Choosing thread and needles for card stitching

When choosing a thread for prick & stitch card embroidery keep in mind that the pin pricked hole in your card presents an abrasive surface to the thread. Threads with a smooth, shinny surface will withstand the abrasion better than fluffy, rough or loosely stranded threads. Thread produced for machine embroidery is often stronger and shiner than standard sewing thread. Metallic thread designed for hand embroidery is also a good choice for card embroidery. The rich metallic colours shimmer and glint when they catch the light, creating an elegant look.

Kreinik and Gutermann metallic threads:
Until recently we used Kreinik 1 ply metallic cord to stitch the card samples on our website. However, since Kreinik have discontinued the most popular colours we are now using Gutermann Sulky “Original” metallic thread.

If you are a Kreinik metallic cord user considering switching to Gutermann Sulky “Original” metallic thread, please try one spool as a test before going on a thread spending spree. This is because all brands and types of thread have their own distinctive characteristics.

Gutermann have three types of thread in their Sulky metallic range, the Original Metallic can be identified by code numbers in the 7000s. It is a round, twisted thread that is created by twisting and bonding a fine metallic foil around a strong core to create an exceptionally smooth, strong and pliable thread.

Gutermann Sulky Original Metallic Thread

Below are the colour codes for Kreinik 1 ply metallic cord and the closest colour match in Gutermann Sulky Original metallic thread. (Disclaimer: similar colours but not identical)

Kreinik colourKreinik codeGutermann Sulky code and name
silver001C7001 Gutermann thread silver
gold002C7007 Gutermann thread gold
red003C7014 Gutermann thread Christmas red
7013 Gutermann thread rose*
black005C7051 Gutermann thread black
pink007C7042 Gutermann thread prism peach
7012 Gutermann thread lavender*
green008C7018 Gutermann thread Christmas green
nickel011C7009 Gutermann thread pewter
purple012C7050 Gutermann thread purple
copper021C7011 Gutermann thread light copper
pearl032C7021 Gutermann thread prism white
confetti034C7029 Gutermann thread silver/rose/jade
confetti pink041C7024 Gutermann thread light-blue/gold/lavender
blue051C7016 Gutermann thread blue
7052 Gutermann thread peacock blue*
fern086C7053 Gutermann thread mint
antique silver
7023 Gutermann thread black/silver
antique gold205C7004 Gutermann thread dark gold
antique copper
7010 Gutermann thread dark copper

*Alternative colour suggestion.

There are 50 colours in the Gutermann Sulky Original metallic thread range. Visit a stockist to see the complete range.

Other threads in the Gutermann Sulky metallic range:
Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic Thread is a thin, flat, ribbon-like, (holographic) foil that is laminated with polyester, which makes it amazingly reflective so you can add the ultimate sparkle to all of your decorative projects. It can be identified by code numbers in the 6000s.
Sulky Sliver™ Metallic Thread is a thin, flat, ribbon-like, (solid-colour) foil that is laminated with polyester, which makes it brilliantly reflective so you can add the ultimate sparkle to all of your decorative projects. It can be identified by code numbers in the 8000s.

Some other brands of thread:
Mettler Metallic 40 thread has bright colours and sews well.
Madeira Solid Metallic colours and Variegated Metallics give an attractive finish.
DMC rayon skeins give a silky look.
Aurilux (satin finished polyester) from the Aurifil machine embroidery range has been used to good effect.

Tips on using thread on cards:

Use a length of thread that you are comfortable with. We suggest using about a third of a metre (14 inches) for greater control. Short lengths are less likely to get caught on the corner of your card or to knot. Short lengths also avoid excessive abrasion on the thread from repeated passes through the holes in your card.

Pull the thread completely through each hole but do not over tighten or the card will be bowed.

If your thread gets twisted then let your needle hang free to allow the thread to untwist.

Securing metallic thread on your needle so that it does not slip:

When you have cut the required length of thread, fold about 5 cm (2 inches) from one end and thread the loop through the eye of your needle. Slip the loop over the sharp end of the needle and pull it tight.

Selecting the correct size of needle.

We recommend a Number 10 embroidery needle. The main thing is that it goes through your pricked holes easily. On the other hand you do not want it to drop through because a little bit of resistance helps keep it in place whilst you turn the card over.

Visit our card gallery to see more examples of how customers have used our patterns.

See our Useful Links page for equipment and materials suppliers.