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MADEIRA’s Smoking gathering thread is a special product. Embroidery with SMOKING is performed using a special bobbin thread, which reacts to heat at a lower temperature than the fabric.

The embroidered item is then subjected to heat. The thread shrinks while the fabric does not, casing the fabric to picker in a controlled way.

The effects are beautiful and limitless, depending on the stitches and fabrics that are used. Backing is not necessary. No special needles are needed, and shrink embroidery can be sewn on any type of embroidery machine.


The SMOKING thread shrinks when exposed to heat. About 30% when exposed to the correct temperature. A regular household iron is perfect for this purpose. A streamer would also work well.


The fabric that is used is also an important factor. Lighter weight fabrics, such as satin, cotton sheeting, organdie, organza and chiffon, work best – the lighter the fabric, the more the embroidery will pucker.

Be creative with this product — now is the time to let your creative spirit soar, try using fun fabrics like lace or lame! Stick with simple designs that consist mostly of run stitches and have a lot of negative space.

Keep in mind that any area that is not stitched will puff up once the embroidery shrinks. Areas where the stitching is close together will pucker more.


Once the design is sewn out, remove it from the machine. Up until this point, it will look just like regular embroidery.

Now for the fun part: In order to make the embroidery shrink, or puff up, the thread will need to be exposed to heat. So, now is the time to get out your iron or your steamer.

Set your iron to the highest temperature that your fabric can tolerate. To prepare the fabric for shrinking, turn it over to the wrong side, bobbin side up.

With a light hand, draw the iron over the fabric slowly. You will see the thread begin to shrink and the fabric pucker up. Do not use a heavy hand.

Pressing the iron heavily will result in a wrinkled effect. Run the iron over the fabric as many times as you wish in order to get the desired effect.

Once the desired effect has been achieved, turn your embroidery over, and VOILA!


Click here for purchasing the SMOKING thread.

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