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Sewing thread size, fabric and needle chart

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

Explore the Top Rated Sewing Machine Needles for ideas and suggestions.

Amount of thread needed to make a quilt (chart)

The quilting fabric chart below represents the average amount of thread needed to make a good quality quilt.

Quilt Size Light Quilting Heavy Quilting
Twin Size 400 yds. 1,200 yds.
Queen Size 600 yds. 1,600 yds.
King Size 750 yds. 2,000 yds.

Typical maxi-lock all purpose thread weight

Thread weight is a measurement of length and the lower the number the heavier the thread. Typical maxi-lock thread is 40 weight, meaning that 40 kilometers of 40 weight thread would weigh 1kg. A 30 weight thread would be heavier and only require 30 kilometers to weight the same. 40 weight maxi-lock thread works best with a 90/14 size needle.

How to choose the right thread for sewing

Thread is available in many weights and sizes. Matching thread thickness with fabric thickness and weight generally gives good results. Typically, thick thread is stronger and more visible than fine thread so determine how much seam stress your sewing project will be subjected to and choose thread thickness accordingly.

Thread matching, learn how it’s done

Thread matching is the process of choosing the right thread to use with your sewing fabric. For color matching choose a thread that is one shade darker than the fabric to be sewn. For best results match thread fiber type with fabric fiber type. Thread weight selection has been made simple, match the rating on it’s label with that of the fabric’s rating.

The meaning of thread ‘Tex’

Thread Tex refers to its weight. Tex is a measurement system that uses 1,000 meters of thread per gram as the starting point. If 1,000 meters of thread weighs one gram it is labeled ‘Tex 1’. If it weighed 5 grams it would be labeled Tex 5. Fine(light) threads thus have a low Tex number and thick(heavy) threads have a higher Tex number.

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.

Special sewing thread is rarely needed

When sewing stretchy or heavy fabric it’s best to use a thread of the same material type, when possible. Otherwise, Polyester thread works well with most fabric and special sewing machine thread is typically not needed.

Using all-purpose thread while quilting

All-purpose and quilting specific threads are both safe choices for hand quilting. If you want to stick with all-purpose thread for your quilting project make sure it’s appropriately sized. Thin all-purpose thread will work well for aplique heavy quilts, otherwise a medium thread should do the job nicely.

Strong thread is called heavy duty thread

Outside of 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.

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