Free Motion Embroidery with Aurifil 80wt
Updated: Nov 24, 2022
Everyone has an opinion, especially when it comes to thread in the crafting world! Cotton or Polyester? 50wt or 40wt? What about 80wt? Which colour to use? Should my bobbin thread match my top thread? Many have strong opinions and won't be swayed, but some can be persuaded to experiment!
Aurifil is a very fine cotton thread, which some people say breaks very easily - I find this particularly interesting because I have never had this problem and I'm really heavy handed, seriously I regularly snap hand sewing needles like toothpicks! True Aurifil is a very delicate cotton thread but perhaps practice is needed to refine ones technique and usage of it in order to be successful?
So that's exactly what I set about doing for this months Artisan challenge - 'feature an Aurifil thread weight you have never used before, or have not used often'
What is Aurifil 80wt?
Aurifil 80wt is a super fine 2 ply 100% cotton thread, it comes on small cherry wood spools of 300 yards / 274 m and is available in 88 colours. It's just one of the many beautiful threads available, you can read all about them here.
I set my machine up (Pfaff Quilt Expression 710) for free motion quilting/embroidery and did a few test stitches to get my tension and settings exactly how I wanted them. Firstly the 80wt thread glides through the machine like a hot knife through butter and stitches like a dream! I had 50wt in my bobbin because several fellow Artisans and sewing friends made this suggestion, I had nothing to compare it to so I went with it.
I did put a new needle in my machine, a size 80 Microtex needle from Pfaff, it's a very fine needle so I thought it may work well with such a fine thread and I'm happy to report I was correct! The details I was able to create in the pieces I was working on is amazing, using 80wt also allowed me to had layers of colour without making the pieces look heavy or misshapen.
These super cute mushrooms are a new pattern and project by Rope and Anchor Trading Co that I've been testing recently, keep an eye on Tracy's Instagram feed for more details and all the info you need on Marvellous Mushrooms!
There are 3 different Marvellous Mushrooms and I had great fun playing with different colours to bring each of them to life.
Mushroom 1 (from top to bottom)
Mushroom 2 (from top to bottom)
Mushroom 3 (from left to right)
80wt is not new to me for hand sewing and EPP, you can read all about that project here, but I've never used it in my machine before or for any kind of free motion quilting/embroidery, that being said I'll definitely be experimenting with this more. I love the details that can be created using a finer thread, it gives the work a delicate feel because a lot of the thread sinks in to the fabric rather than building up on top - in my opinion.
I've really enjoyed using Aurifil 80wt in this way and I encourage you to give it a try, it may not be for you and that's perfectly fine, but playing with fabric and thread is good for the soul so you might as well!