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Special sewing thread is rarely needed

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.


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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.

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.

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.

How to identify Polyester thread

Identifying polyester thread is simple – Reading the label will typically tell you of your thread contains nylon, cotton or polyester. However, if there is no label, carefully burning the thread end in a well ventilated area works for identification purposes because Polyester thread melts, it doesn’t burn.

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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