From: Central NY
Here's a 'thread report' from a 17 year machine embroidery owner who also occasionally teaches machine embroidery at dealers. I own at least 300 spools of various brands and fibers.
Robison-Anton is manufactured primarily in the US.
A&E threads are made in India.
Guterman and Sulky threads are manufactured in Germany.
Superior Threads - made in Japan, Tawian, and China.
Madeira - began in Germany, now in "USA, Europe, Japan and key Asian markets".
Sulky - Germany.
Isacord - US base of operations & distribution, country of manufacture not known.
Coats - everywhere.
Floriani? It's a mystery.
Hemingworth - ??
Other brands? I'm sure - they just aren't in my stash and there is one plant overseas that manufactures a great deal of thread that is all the same but with different brand names - usually associated with an industry "celebrity".
I avoid threads and fabrics manufactured in countries known for underpaying and overworking people - though it's often hard to find where something is manufactured or what the working conditions are.
I'd have to say that half of my poly threads are Robison Anton, it was easy for me to find when I worked for a dealer and I like it - it fills nicely, has a wide color selection and doesn't break easily on my machines. Probably the other half of my threads are a variety of brands for a variety of reasons, including what's easily available locally. I have quite a few ARC mainly because when a local independent dealer was going into semi-retirement and scaling back their operations, they were selling the medium cones for $2. I like ARC very much but I can't find a website for them to locate a dealer, so I suspect they may no longer be in operation. Two spools of Isacord in my stash - I wonder if it is manufactured in the same plant as ARC was - I cannot tell the difference between the two except for the color of the cone & label - both are good quality threads. I love love love the sheen of Floriani but it breaks more easily on my machines than RA and ARC but I deal with it when sheen is what the project calls for and I don't want to use rayon. Nearly all of my rayon threads are Sulky - easy to find, great quality & color selection, often on sale, and probably comprise 1/3 of my embroidery threads overall - I use it mostly for home decor items that won't need laundering often. Guterman poly - again, easy to find, often on sale, and I especially like their metallics on my machines. Hemingworth Thread - only 1 spool but I'm impressed by the delivery that prevents tangling and breakage. I have only a few Madeira threads - it stitches nicely in my limited use. Coats or Coats/Sylko - I bought some at Joann's a long time ago, the 1 spool of Sylko was part of an online order - don't like either as it doesn't fill as full as other brands. I have been using the Coats up for test stitchouts and won't buy it again.
I have tested/experimented with many threads - heirloom quality cotton thread works very nicely for embroidery on heirloom items, DMC's cotton embroidery thread was just okay, Guterman's silk thread stitched out gorgeous with a design intended for heavier cotton threads, better quality polyester serger thread works well for FSL designs, giving ornaments and trims a cotton or crocheted look. I know that many disagree on the colorfast properties of rayon thread, but I have experienced first hand, and too many times, color degradation in the laundry - both from bleach and non-bleach additives; as well as fading from daylight. I simply don't use it anymore on kitchen towels, children's clothing, or decor items that are exposed to light. The same holds true for cotton threads. Polyester threads retain their dyes best, and when vibrant colors are critical to a project, that will always be my choice.
Member since 2001.