The Best Thread For Embroidery
by: Kelsi Watts - 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.
The best starter sewing thread (most commonly used)
In speaking with other seamstresses I find that 50 weight polyester cotton blend thread is the most commonly used thread, for most project types. It is suitable for use with a wide range of fabrics, including stretch.
With experience preferences change but for starting out you can’t go wrong with a good polyester cotton blend thread.
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.
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 stich over a dark green fabric.
The benefit of this approach is that the slight contrast makes it easy to see where your overlock stich threads lay.
Zigzag vs straight stitch strength(s)
A straight sewing stitch is strong because it focuses all of the fabric tension along the same axis(same line) between two pieces. 100% of the thread in a straight stitch is directly holding both pieces together.
A zigzag stitch makes the thread alternate in direction between each side, effectively increasing the amount of thread used but decreasing it’s strength. However, in terms of durability, the zigzag stich is more durable overall.
Popular thread for serger sewing machines
The most popular thread used in serger sewing machines is Polyester thread because of it’s strength, durability and flexibility. Some sewing projects require a specfic 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.
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.
When to use cone thread
The term ‘cone thread’ simply means a larger spool holding more thread than your average spool of thread. It’s called cone thread because of the shape of the spool which is cone-shaped (wider on one end).
The two main benefits of cone thread are a) the ease with which the thread comes off the narrow end of the cone and b) how much additional thread it contains for larger sewing projects.
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.