What kind of sewing thread should I use? This is one of the most common questions we hear. The answer is simple, and difficult, at the same time.
The first thing to decide is what fiber to use. Rayon, polyester, cotton, silk, or metallic? All have their pros and cons, but basically it comes down to personal preference. I believe in using whatever threads work for your project. If it works well in your machine, and you like the effect you get while using it, then don't hesitate, enjoy it! Don't let the sewing "police" tell you what you should or should not use in your project. As odd as it sounds, sewing machines have preferences too. So experiment, and don't be afraid to use a particular thread just because it's not "made for that".
Polyester is far and away the most popular thread for general sewing. It is a very strong economical thread. Polyester thread won't fade or shrink in the wash.
The luster, or sheen, of polyester thread falls between that of cotton and rayon. A medium luster thread, it is suitable for almost any sewing project.
Polyester threads do have some give or stretch to them.
Polyester threads are available in a wide range of solid and variegated colors. The most popular thread size for sewing is 50wt, but many other weights are used depending on the project.
100% cotton sewing thread is the traditional choice. Cotton is a natural thread that gives a soft, matte look.
Cotton thread is available in a wide range of weights, and is suitable for most sewing projects. 40wt and 50wt are the most common, but cotton threads range from 8wt to 100wt.
Cotton thread does not stretch a great deal, and will break if pulled too tightly. Cotton threads will fade with the sun, and shrink in the wash, so treat them as you would cotton fabrics.
Most cotton threads sold now are mercerized. This is a chemical and heat process that increases the luster of the thread. During the mercerizing process, fuzzy threads are burned off, creating a smoother surface. This smooth surface reflects light, increasing the luster of the thread. It also has the effect of increasing water absorbency, making the thread easier to dye.
Long staple cotton is finer and stronger than regular cotton. Most high quality threads are made with long staple cotton, creating a softer, stronger, higher luster thread. Long staple threads tend to have fewer slubs, lumps of lint spun into the cotton threads.
About the Author:
Stacy McDougall's company, Red Rock Threads sells quilting, sewing and embroidery thread online. View the Sewing Thread that Red Rock Threads has to offer.