Can You Embroider With Regular Thread

How do you feel about embroidering with regular thread? It’s not the easiest thing to do. But it is a possible thing to do. If you’re a beginner, this is an excellent project to practice your skills on.

But there are some vital things you need to know. In this blog post, we’ll explore what types of thread to use for embroidery. Also, how different types of threads affect your project.

We’ll also look at which needle that you should use for this type of thread. So read more below to see if you could clear your doubts if you had any.

Can You Embroider With Regular Thread?

Yes, you can use regular thread to make embroidery stitches. Many stitchers assume that embroidery is only possible with specialty threads. But, this is not true! Regular sewing thread can also create beautiful embroideries.

Differences Between Embroider and Regular Thread

There can be a few types of sewing threads that you can use to do the same job. For example, traditional sewing threads or regular sewing threads are some popular types.

These could both work as embroidering thread. However, there can be some major differences between these two that you should be aware of every time.

Embroidery thread is well-made to stand out against the fabric you use. And it will often have a higher break resistance than regular sewing threads.

You can sometimes use regular sewing thread as embroidery thread for light work.


Embroidery thread is from rayon, nylon, or polyester. It means that these are more delicate but still relevant for certain jobs. They are suitable for embroidering and cross-stitching.

Traditional thread or regular thread is of different types of material. These could include cotton, polyester, or nylon. Commonly, the thread will be from one of these materials and not a blend.

Cotton or silk, which is more robust than rayon, is common in embroidery thread. The cotton also features some elasticity to it, whereas the polyester will not stretch at all.

In the past, this type of thread was quite popular for sewing most often and mending. But now, it is also a great option for embroidery.


Embroidery threads are usually thinner than regular ones by about 20%. It can matter when you are sewing medium to heavyweight fabrics. That’s because it provides less ballast for those thick pieces of fabric.

Regular thread is thicker than embroidery thread, which can cause it to break with ease.


The embroidery thread looks a little bit shinier. Which is something to look after if you want a thread that will look like it’s new for a long time. The regular thread is dull with a few different finishes. Those with some shine to it are very few.

Also, the shine doesn’t compare to that of their embroidery counterparts. Their dull appearance also makes it much harder to see where the thread is going under the fabric.


Embroidery threads are more than three times flexible than regular sewing threads. It means that they can be suitable for heavier fabrics like denim without breaking with ease.

They also have greater elasticity, especially when you use them on roller-lock or buttonhole stitching.

Threading On Thread

Embroidery thread is common on spools, but regular sewing threads are not as common in that form. They come more in skeins and balls of varying diameters for various purposes. These could be embroidery floss, woolen needlepoint yarns.


Regular threads are stronger than embroidery threads, but embroidery thread is more flexible.

This strength difference can make a big difference, especially when sewing denim and other medium to heavyweight fabrics. The regular thread tends to break before it gets out of these fabrics. Embroidered ones will still be working on them.


Embroidery threads are for decorative sewing only. On the other hand, regular threads are versatile. You can use them for both normal and decorative stitching.


Both the embroidery and the regular threads come in a wide range of colors. But, those with some shine to them are very few on the regular side. Remember that the choice of color depends on your needs.

Suppose you are working on a medium to large project strike a blend. Then, you can try mixing different colors. It prevents your results from looking monotonous.


The two types of thread come in two different weights. The embroidery thread is thinner, and the regular threads are thicker. But, most often, there is a wide variety of weights available in each type.


You can use embroidery threads for cross-stitch and needlepoint. Or Hardanger, blackwork, shadow work, whitework, and ribbon embroidery, among others. There is so much versatility when using these threads.

Regular threads can be for sewing, darning, and other unique embroidery tasks. The list of uses here is short. But it sure does a great job.


Embroidery threads are most often cheaper than regular threads. But, this will depend on where you are buying. To save cost on any thread you are buying, wait for a sale or festive season. Also, you can buy your thread wholesale.

It ensures that you have as much as you need at a subsidized price. Also, collecting thread over time helps to relieve you of spending much at once.

If you don’t have a significant amount to spend on these threads, you can borrow from stitchers who dispose of what they don’t use.

How to Embroider With Regular Thread?

There are two common methods of embroidering, whether you are using regular or embroidery thread. These are stitching by hand or using a machine.

Using Regular Thread to Embroider by Hand

Step 1: First of all, you may need to thread the needle with your chosen type of thread.

Step 2: Then, cut a length from the spool and knot one end around the other. It creates two strands for working on each side of your embroidery fabric. Or any other project that requires this thickness.

Step 3: Next is where it gets tricky. You have to pull the thread to ensure that the two strands are even.

Step 4: You will start your embroidery by passing the needle through the fabric. Then pull both of the threads taut to form an X-shape on top of it.

Move from side to side with your stitches so that they look like running stitches, especially when viewed from a closer distance (assuming this is the type of stitch you want to start with).

Step 5: Proceed with your decorative stitches until you finish your project. Secure them at the end to prevent the thread from running.

Using Regular Thread to Embroider With a Machine

Step 1: Thread your machine with the desired type of thread. (Thread in a contrasting color is best for visibility). Pull out around six inches of thread from the spool. Then, secure the thread between your thumb and index finger at one end.

Step 2: Thread it behind a spool on the machine’s upper tension arm (the angle brace). Thread it in front of a thread guide or needle plate, where you will pass the threaded needle through when starting to sew.

Step 3: Finish threading your machine. Test if the tension is right on a scrap of fabric. If not, adjust to the right settings. Once you notice all your settings are correct, you can begin stitching.

Be careful about threading too tight. It might cause the needle to bend or break and may jam your machine.

Embroidery Thread Tips

1. Collect regular threads that fascinate you. They should be great choices that will work well for your embroidery stitches.

2. It’s our advice that you use at least two colors or more for the project, so it doesn’t look too monotonous.

3. Also, you can use the regular threads you collect to work on other projects that need them.

4. Always choose regular cotton threads of size 30. This size is perfect for most embroidery stitches.

5. You can also use regular silk threads depending on the design and stitching you want to do. These are better choices also as they will allow a smoother stitch that won’t snag with ease in your fabric.

6. If your thread keeps on breaking when embroidering, you have to find the reason why. Sometimes, your needle is too thin and lightweight for the thread size you’re using.

7. Other times, it might be because of the type or weight of fabric that you are stitching on at the moment.

8. Select the right colors and shades to use. Take the time to experiment with different combinations and see what works best for you.

What Needle Should You Choose for Embroidery With Regular Thread?

Choose a needle with a large eye. It counters any instances of thread fraying or breaking.

You want your stitches smooth and without any delays. Going contrary to the size of the scarf and eye will affect the quality of your results.

Is Embroidery Thread Thicker Than Regular Thread?

No. Regular threads are thicker than embroidery threads. That’s because they are often suitable for decorative purposes. This structure fits with them.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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