How To Check Thread Quality

Good quality sewing thread can make all the difference in how durable sewn garments are.

But how do you know the difference between good quality and poor quality thread?

Here is a simple trick to test the quality of sewing thread before you buy or use it.

Hold a length of thread between your thumb and finger and press against the thread lightly with your thumbnail.

Pull the thread gently and let your nail lightly scratch the thread.

High quality thread will remain tightly bound as you scratch, but low quality thread will develop small, broken and loose fibers.

How to spot good bobbin thread

Good bobbin thread is as strong as any sewing machine top thread.

Go ahead and compare their tensile strength by seeing how easily they break.

Pull the bobbin thread tight and scratch it lightly to see if it frays.

Good bobbin thread should not be any more breakable than standard high quality thread.

Spotting a good quality sewing thread

Sewing machines require good quality sewing thread to work optimally.

You can spot good quality thread by giving it a good pull and by lightly scratching at it with a fingernail.

If the thread breaks you may want to use a higher quality thread with your sewing machine to avoid frustrating thread breaks.

Simple trick for testing thread quality

How to thread your sewing machine needle

  1. Place a spool of sewing thread on your machine
  2. Pull the thread out and wind it around your bobbin
  3. Put the bobbin on your machine’s bobbin pin
  4. Engage the bobbin winder by pressing the pedal
  5. Cut and wrap the spool thread around the guide
  6. Pull the thread down around the catch
  7. Wrap the thread around the take-up lever
  8. Lastly, thread the needle and drop in your bobbin

The difference between threading and sewing

Thread is a long, thin and flexible material used in sewing.

The act of sewing attaches two or more materials together tightly with multiple individual passes of a threaded needle.

Threading is the process of passing thread through material(s) in preparation for later securing the materials together tightly, each individual threading pass is not tightened until later.

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.

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.

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.

Engage your thread guide to keep thread in place

The thread guide on your home sewing machine is a small metal hook-shaped ring typically located on the upper needle assembly.

By running thread through the thread guide, it is kept in place during the sewing process.

Engage the thread guide to keep the thread moving smoothly between the spool and needle and to avoid frustrating tangles.

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.