Thread 101

Shalom MHNCB,

In today I’ll be talking about…

Thread 101

When starting a sewing project you always have to set up your sewing machine, and in doing so you have to thread your machine right. But what thread do you use? Thread is something you don’t really put much thought into you just put some all-purpose thread and call it a day. Yet your garment could come out a lot and I mean a lot more professional looking if you use:

  • a better quality thread
  • the appropriate thread for the project
  • thread that will not damage your fabric
  • and most importantly the weight of the thread, yes threads have weight

Yet the most important thing to remember when purchasing thread is to buy quality thread. How to tell the quality of thread? When your shopping for thread, pick up a spool of thread that’s priced really cheap (the kind of thread that priced “to good to be true”) and compare it to a more expensive brand name thread. You will notice the “fuzzies” on the cheaper thread that’s a sign that the thread is made from cheap and short fibers. This type of thread will fray and break as soon as you begin sewing with it. It’ll also let out a lot of bits of lint that will clog up your sewing machine.

There are different types of threads at the craft store and these are a few of the threads you might run into, and some you didn’t know you can use for sewing:

  1. A regular spool of thread: This is the thread you will see almost everywhere where there’s a sewing aisle and it comes in fibers such as: Polyester, cotton-covered polyester, and more. Make sure that you use the best quality cotton thread for your project.Thread
  2. Cone Thread: This thread is used for sergers/overlockers because they bring about 3,000 yards of thread, and sergers use a lot of thread. Usually they come in 100% polyester or 100% cotton.Tsibiah's Sewing School - Thread 101 - Cone Thread Serger/Over-Locker
  3. Buttonhole Thread: It’s a heavyweight thread that is commonly made with three-ply silk and is more durable than construction thread. You use this thread to sew buttons onto your projects.Tsibiah's Sewing School - Thread 101 - Buttonhole Thread
  4. Embroidery Thread/Floss: Used for embroidery but you can also use it to decorate your dress or poncho etc… There’s also machine embroidery which uses Embroidery Thread which is very different from Embroidery Floss. Embroidery floss has 6-strands of thread so you can choose how thick or thin you want your stitch to be, usually of cotton but also manufactured in silk, linen, and rayon
  5. Yarn: Used mostly for knitting but yes it can be used on a serger/overlocker machine. There are many varieties of yarn such as: Wool (Lamb’s wool, Merino wool, Pure new wool/virgin wool, Shetland wool, Icelandic wool, Washable wool), Fleece, Silk, cotton, linen, rayon, synthetic, Novelty (Ribbon, Boucle’, Chenille, Thick-Thin, Railroad ribbon, Faux fur) Specialty (Tweed, Heather, Marled(ragg) Variegated) and the list goes on and on. In order to use it on a serger/overlocker machine the yarn has to be smooth,and tightly twisted to feed evenly through the machine. It also must be fine enough (small/thin enough, not chunky yarn) to thread through the eye of the upper looper easily and strong enough to feed through the thread guides. Yarn tends to stretch as it is sewn, so you might have to loosen the thread tension completely.
  6. Decorative Threads such as: Fine monofilament nylon, Top stitching thread, Metallic threads, Woolly Nylon Thread, Rayon and silk, Crochet thread, Pearl cotton (which is also used for embroidery) Ribbon up to 1/4″ (6 mm) wide can be used if it’s lightweight, soft and pliable, such as ribbons designed for knitting. You may also find knitting ribbon on spools, cards, or cones. It’s available in acrylic, cotton rayon, and silk. Polyester ribbon is usually not pliable enough to be used in the looper, but can be laid flat and over edged with a serged stitch for a decorative effect.

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  7. Elastic Thread: Used for shirring  Check out this video on how to sew shirring.
  8. Jute and Twine, Rope, Pastele Thread: Jute and Twine can be used for sewing upholstery as well as piping/cording. Rope can be used to make a rope baskets and used as piping/cording  etc.. Pastele Thread can be used for gathering fabric etc..

Yet there are many more types of thread out there that you can incorporate into sewing. The options are endless. Make sure to always use the appropriate thread for the project and fabric you are currently working on.


Shalom Ladies MHNCB!

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