We may receive a commission if you click and make a purchase through links in this post.
embroidery thread

Can You Use Embroidery Thread in a Sewing Machine? The Answer Is Yes

To easily answer the question can you use embroidery thread in a sewing machine, we should first see what embroidery thread is exactly. Then, you will easily understand why you can definitely use embroidery thread in a sewing machine if that’s the type of project you’re making.

To give you a quick preview, I should tell you that you can definitely use embroidery thread in a sewing machine. But we shall see which are the types of thread we can choose for our sewing machines.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about embroidery and how there are machines that can be used for both, check out my reviews for the best embroidery machine for beginners.

Can You Use Embroidery Thread in a Sewing Machine? Why the Answer Is Yes

using embroidery thread in a sewing machine

Embroidery thread is actually called embroidery floss.

It gets that name because it is specifically manufactured or hand-spun for embroidery and other types of needlework.

What makes embroidery floss different from regular sewing thread that we use for making clothes, mending, and all our other projects?

Both embroidery and sewing threads are used for sewing

First of all, both types of thread are used for sewing. That’s one major reason why you can use embroidery thread in a sewing machine. There’s nothing stopping you.

Since embroidery floss is also used for sewing, you can sew with embroidery thread in a sewing machine without breaking the thread or thread jamming.

The question we’ll actually have to answer is which type of embroidery floss can be used to sew in a sewing machine. I’ll tell you all about that in a few seconds.

Check out my recommendations for the best thread for sewing machine if you really want to find out which spools are best for all types of sewing projects.

Embroidery vs Sewing Thread

The major difference between these two threads is that embroidery floss has a special sheen, while most sewing threads don’t have that sheen.

Another strong indicator that we can use embroidery floss in a sewing machine is that there are models that are called sewing and embroidery machines.

When you come across a machine that’s called a sewing and embroidery machine it usually means that it’s a computerized machine that can stitch all kinds of designs in different sizes.

These machines will also include a wide array of decorative stitches.

The more expensive ones will have a feature that lets you upload custom designs via a USB port.

Nevertheless, you can use embroidery thread in pretty much all sewing machines, whether you have a model that costs under $50 or a $1,000 machine. That’s the general answer to the question can you use embroidery thread in a sewing machine.

Types of Machine Embroidery Thread

The types of embroidery floss that you can sew with in a sewing machine differentiate themselves based on the material they’re made from.

I’ll give you the short version on types of embroidery floss. If you want a more comprehensive guide, you can check out this article.


Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber that is used for embroidery and decorative stitches when the most vibrant colors are wanted.

It is characterized by high sheen and deep luster and it has medium to low strength when compared to polyester or nylon threads.

I wouldn’t exactly use rayon for all purpose sewing because it doesn’t have the best strength. You could use it for stitching light fabrics.

However, it will be essential to test your rayon thread to see how it holds up with stitch intensive designs and high-speed stitching.

Apparently, it can perform quite well during high-speed stitching.


Cotton thread can be used for decorative stitches because it takes dyes well and can have vibrant colors but it has a lower strength than polyester and nylon threads.

You can use cotton thread on fabrics like broadcloth, gingham, linen, cotton, velvet, thin corduroy, and even denim. It also works for quilting applications.


Generally, polyester is considered the best machine embroidery thread.

Not surprisingly, all-purpose polyester is also the best sewing thread.

Polyester embroidery thread is one of the most popular machine embroidery threads because it has the advantage of being one of the strongest embroidery floss.

It also has good stretch without breaking and it will run smoothly at high speeds without looping. Polyester thread doesn’t shed much when going through sewing machines.

Moreover, color fastness is good.

It looks similar to cotton and it is relatively low cost.

If you want to get a very precise answer to the question can you use embroidery thread in a sewing machine, I would say that you can use it without absolutely any worries, especially if you’re using polyester embroidery thread because it has one of the best performances, whether we’re talking embroidery of general sewing.


Silk thread is another option for embroidery floss.

What makes it attractive is its sheen and softness, which is unmatched by rayon or polyester.

It’s strong and fine at the same time, which is a wonderful combination.

However, it’s also more difficult to find silk thread for machine embroidery and it’s more expensive.

If you have silk for embroidery and you want to use it for general sewing in a sewing machine, the only fabrics I would recommend it for are flannel, wool, and tweed.

You can run it through beeswax for extra strength and less tangling. If you want to read more about silk thread, you can do so here. It’s a nice little guide.

Types of Machine Sewing Thread


Knowing about the different types of machine embroidery floss is helpful. It will also show you that embroidery floss and all-purpose sewing thread have a lot of things in common and that’s why we can use embroidery floss in a sewing machine.

If you want to buy sewing thread for your machine, you should know that general purpose polyester threads are a very good choice.

Polyester thread is also known as synthetic all-purpose thread. This is the type you’ll end up using for most of your sewing.

As long as you buy high-quality polyester thread, you’ll be ready to use your machine for whatever projects, patterns, and mending you want to make.

Moreover, there are manuals for certain sewing machines that will also include a small table with the type of thread you should use based on the fabrics you’re stitching.

For example, if you’re going to read the user manual for Juki TL-2010Q, you’re going to see that synthetic thread is mentioned for all types of fabrics: light, medium and heavy-weight.

The same goes if you read the manual for Singer Quantum Stylist. All-purpose polyester is mentioned for all types of fabrics.

Another synthetic thread for sewing machines is nylon thread. Nylon thread is one of the strongest synthetic threads for sewing machines and it is also known for its flexibility and stretch. It is used for leatherwork, shoes, backpacks, upholstery, etc.

In another category we have cotton thread for sewing machines, being made from natural plant based fiber. It’s mostly used for sewing cotton garments, quilting applications and decorative stitching.

With all that, you now know the answer to the question can you use embroidery thread in a sewing machine and you’ve seen that polyester thread is the best option for both machine embroidery and all-purpose machine sewing.