Regular Sewing Thread Works In a Serger (but)

You can use regular sewing thread in a serger. A serger is a type of sewing machine that is designed to finish the edges of fabric by trimming away excess fabric and overlocking the edges.

While a serger typically uses multiple threads to create this overlocking stitch, it is possible to use regular sewing thread in a serger.

Keep in mind that the overlocking stitch created by a serger may not be as strong or durable if you use regular sewing thread, so it is generally recommended to use special serger thread if possible.

Thread types (and number) to use on a serger

Regular thread DOES work on a serger sewing machine, but will run out more quickly.

The number of threads to use at one time depends on the machine. A 2-4 serger sewing machine requires two to four threads, depending on setting.

Likewise, a 3-4 serger requires a minimum of three and maximum of four threads and a 5 thread serger machine requires five threads.

Best overlock thread colors to use

For ease of use try to match the tone of a fabric but not necessarily when choosing overlock thread.

Example: Use a medium green thread in an overlock stitch over a dark green fabric.

The benefit of this approach is that the slight contrast makes it easy to see where your overlock stitch threads lay.

Strong thread is called heavy-duty thread

Outside industrial applications, the strongest thread available for use in home sewing projects is called heavy-duty thread.

Modern heavy-duty thread most often has a core made of a strong material wrapped in a more traditional thread material.

Heavy-duty thread is ideal for use with embroidery sewing projects.

Regular sewing thread works in a serger (but)

Popular thread for serger sewing machines

The most popular thread used in serger sewing machines is Polyester thread because of its strength, durability and flexibility.

Some sewing projects require a specific thread type, such as nylon or cotton thread, but most do not.

Polyester thread also has the benefit of being slightly less expensive and more durable overall.

Overlock sewing thread (info and benefits)

Overlocking thread is a fine, smooth and relatively strong sewing thread designed to be used for sewing at high speeds.

It can be used on the overlocker needle or looper, it’s interchangeable.

All-purpose overlock thread is most widely available for 250 m and 1000 m bobbins as well as 7500 m thread cones.

Cotton vs Polyester sewing thread

Cotton thread is stronger and softer than Polyester thread, making it the better sewing option for most applications.

That being said, cotton thread doesn’t stretch as much as Polyester thread, so it is more prone to breaking.

This is something you need to consider when choosing your sewing thread.

Sewing vs embroidery thread

Embroidery thread is more decorative in appearance when compared with regular sewing thread.

Embroidering thread is typically shinier, with more vibrant colors, and is available in more textures than sewing thread.

As a result, regular sewing thread is generally stronger and more durable than embroidery specific thread, whether it’s cotton or polyester.

About quilting with regular thread

You can quilt with regular thread, I often use a fine, strong two-ply 50 or 60 weight thread for piecing.

I find that it allows me to sew true quarter inch seams. 50 weight thread works, but you can sometimes see your stitches, so use the 60 weight, or even bigger 80 or 100 weight thread, when possible.

Sewing thread size, fabric and needle chart

This sewing thread size chart quickly suggests the best thread size to use with different fabric weights.

It also suggests the best needle size to use with the thread.

Thread Weight (Size) Fabric Type Needle Size
80-50 wt. Light Fabric 60/8, 65/9, 70/10, 75/11
50-40 wt. Medium Fabric 75/11, 80/12, 90/14
40-20 wt. Heavy Fabric 100/16, 110/18, 120/19