sew metallic thread
Inspiration,  Sewing Tips,  Tutorials

How to Sew Metallic Thread on It’s Sew Easy

Metallic is the new black!

No need to shy away from learning how to sew metallic thread. It’s not as difficult as you may think.

sew metallic thread

This metallic cork tote was made for It’s Sew Easy, a public television show on PBS and Create stations nationwide. The 1700 series begins airing today, May 16, 2019. The metallic tote above is featured on the second episode of the series, 1702. Contact your local PBS station to find out when it airs in your area, as each station has different programming schedules.

Ellen March, Director of Content for Sulky takes you through some of the construction of the tote as well as tips for working with metallic threads.

how to sew metallic thread


The featured cork fabric was provided by Fabric Funhouse. The Essex metallic linen is courtesy of Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The rivets and rivet setting tool are from Dritz.

Cork fabric is the latest trend and it’s sticking around as a great alternative to leather. It’s soft and supple and super easy to sew. Use it for small items, such as wallets and luggage tags, or as garment accents, such as epaulets or collar points. Anywhere you’d add an accent of leather, consider using cork fabric instead. It’s more readily available, comes in all colors and varieties, and it’s vegan! 

Cork fabric doesn’t require any special adjustments to your sewing machine. Just keep in mind that you’ll be sewing through thicker layers of fabric, so you’ll want to use a topstitch or jeans needle. If using metallic thread, as for the featured tote bag, use a metallic needle and test-sew on a scrap of cork first to determine if any stitch settings or combination of materials need to change depending on your desired look. 

This easy-sew tote bag features an inner padded pocket, perfect for toting your laptop, an inner zippered pocket and sturdy straps. The purse feet give it professional polish, and keep the bag base free from dirty surfaces. With this pattern, you’ll learn how to create perfectly sewn corners, insert a welt zipper and install purse hardware.  

To find the full instructions for the bag, look for the episode in the 1700 series.


There are many varieties of metallic thread 

Sulky Sliver Metallic comes in 24 colors. It’s a thin, flat, ribbon-like, (solid-color) foil that is laminated with polyester, which makes it brilliantly reflective so you can add the ultimate sparkle to all of your decorative projects. Works perfectly on sewing, serging, and knitting machines, and for handwork. 

holoshimmer metallic thread

Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic comes in 24 colors. It’s 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. Works perfectly on sewing, serging, knitting machines, and for handwork. 

sew metallic thread

Sulky Original Metallic thread comes in 36 colors. It’s a round, twisted thread, created by twisting and bonding a fine metallic foil around a strong core to create an exceptionally smooth, strong and pliable thread. It’s easy to work with and I’ve chosen it for this project. 

original metallic thread


If your machine has a vertical spool pin, use that for metallic thread so it winds off the spool with ease. If your machine only has a horizontal spool pin, there are adapters and kits you can purchase that allow you to convert the horizontal spool pin into a vertical spool pin and vice versa, which makes sewing with metallic thread much more effortless. 

sew metallic thread

For the bag construction, I used a 40-wt polyester thread (Sulky PolyDeco) for strength and lasting through wear and tear. I also used polyester thread in the bobbin, even when using the metallic thread for topstitching. 

The finished bag is sturdy and the purse feet are an absolute essential touch. Learn more about inserting purse feet and installing rivets in this episode of It’s Sew Easy!

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!