Using Regular Sewing Thread For Embroidery
by Kelsi Watts: It is possible to use regular sewing thread for embroidery, but it may not be the best choice. Regular sewing thread is typically made from cotton or polyester and is designed for use with a sewing machine or needle and thread.
It is not as strong or colorfast as embroidery thread, which is specifically designed for embroidery and is made from high-quality fibers such as cotton, rayon, or silk.
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.
Sewing vs embroidery thread
Embroidery thread is more decorative in appearance when compared with regular sewing thread. Embroidering thread is typically shinier, with more vibrant colors, and is available in more textures than sewing thread.
As a result, regular sewing thread is generally stronger and more durable than embroidery specific thread whether it's cotton or polyester.
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.
Thread types (and number) to use on a serger
Regular thread DOES work on a serger sewing machine, but will run out more quickly. The number of threads to use at one time depends on the machine. A 2-4 serger sewing machine requires two to four threads, depending on setting.
Likewise a 3-4 Serger requires a minimum of three and maximum of four threads and a 5 thread serger machine requires five threads.
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.
Extra strong thread use in sewing machines
Heavy threads are absolutely stunning to work with. Whether hand quilting stand-out stitches or machine quilting bold outlines the beautiful textural effects of thick strong thread is appealing.
While it's certainly important to consider thread strength requirements for structural purposes don't forget the aesthetic appeal of thick extra strength threads.
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 applique heavy quilts, otherwise a medium thread should do the job nicely.
Cone thread use on your sewing machine
Cone thread as it's most often referred to is just regular sewing thread on a larger spool. You can use 'cone thread' on your home sewing machine though it's likely you will first need to add an attachment to make it work properly. Cones of thread are larger than regular spools of thread and may not fit on your standard spool holder.
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.