Sewing vs embroidery thread
by Kelsi Watts: The main difference between sewing and embroidery thread is the thickness and type of fiber used. Sewing thread is generally made from a thinner and more flexible fiber, such as cotton or polyester, and is used for stitching fabric together.
Embroidery thread is thicker and made from a more durable fiber, such as rayon or nylon, and is used for decorative stitching on fabric.
Both types of thread are available in a wide range of colors, so you can choose the right thread for your project.
The best thread type for your sewing machine
Polyester thread is best to use for sewing synthetic fabric on your sewing machine. This is because Polyester can stretch a small amount making it more forgiving than cotton.
Also, Polyester thread is less likely to shrink when compared with cotton thread. For natural fabric, cotton thread with a Polyester core works extremely well.
Thread Colors are (almost) universal
Ordering thread of a specific color from a color card that fails to match your fabric can be frustrating. Thankfully thread manufacturers pay attention to the fabric colors of competitors more now than ever.
As a result, most thread colors are universal between brands and, most often, what you see on a color card is exactly what you get.
Top stitching with embroidery thread (possible)
Contrary to an old weaver’s myth, embroidery thread can be used for top stitching on a sewing machine. Several brands of embroidery threads are available for use on standard, simple home sewing machines.
Polyester, cotton and rayon threads tend to be a bit stronger than regular embroidery thread but all can be used for top stitching with good results.
Using regular sewing thread for embroidery
You can use regular sewing threads for your hand stitching. The results are much like working with embroidery threads and yield a distinct appearance. Don’t be afraid to use regular thread with most embroidery projects for a distinctive finish.
Serger thread doesn’t need to match
Serger sewing thread doesn’t need to match every color in your fabric. You will most often get eye pleasing results when matching only one color. Alternatively, you can use a base color from the same range of colors that matches none of them exactly.
Tip: Focus on lighter colors when no match is available because stronger colors draw the eye to them.
The best thread for embroidery
Stranded cotton thread, sometimes called embroidery floss, is the preferred thread for embroidery. It is the most commonly used thread on embroidery projects, including cross stitch, because of durability and ease of use. 6 individual strands of fine cotton thread are combined to make a single embroidery floss.
Maxi-lock thread is popular (but is it good?)
Maxi-Lock thread is a brand of sewing thread made by ‘American and Efird co’. It is a popular thread choice with home tailors who prefer using a serger sewing machine.
Maxi-lock thread is 100% polyester, exceptionally soft, is available in dozens of vibrant colors and lends itself well to high-speed sewing. Yes, it’s good thread.
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.
The best all-purpose sewing thread
Before the invention of polyester thread it was common for natural sewing thread to break frequently and inconveniently. Today, most sewing machine thread has a polyester core that prevents thread breakage by making it slightly stretchy.
As a result the best all purpose thread has a polyester core or is entirely made of polyester.