One of the most critical components of sewing and most often overlooked.
* Friends don't let friends sew with anything from Coats & Clark.
* Using a Thread
Stand (properly) is strongly recommended. Available at JoAnn Fabrics, The Fabric Place, Hancock Fabric, Wal-Mart and other notions stores.
* Overlock and serger cone thread
is cheap and breaks very easily. It is okay for satin stitching appliqué on flag cloth (not ripstop) but nothing else.
* Mettlers Metrosene, Güterman, or Mölnlycke polyester threads are acceptable substitutes but are made from many short yarns and fuzz up the inside of the machine.
* Color matching: Not always a good road to start down.
o Mettlers Metrosene, Güterman, Mölnlycke, polyester threads often different colors have different diameters, different tension settings. Must re-tension every time colors change.
o Make sure thread
is 'color fast'. Some 'bleed' when wet.
* An easy way to 'color match' thread
to fabric is to color it later with Sharpies (permanent magic markers).
* BEST threads are HB (or HSB) 33 nylon or V 30 polyester.
o These are commercial grade threads. They have very consistent diameters and run very clean. They are very strong for their diameter.
o Polyester thread
is a little softer than nylon. Polyester has better UV resistance than Nylon. Nylon is a little stiffer than polyester.
o The numbers are based on 'denier' Denier is a French term denoting the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of the thread
. In other words, the bigger the number, the thicker (and stronger) the thread
. The numbers we see on the thread
are the Textile Numbers, or 'T' numbers, and are 1/10 of the denier. Kite makers use (textile) 30 or 33 in most applications, which is a 300 or 330 denier. 46 in some places. Hot Air Balloons and parachutes are sewn with threads in the 150 range. ( **Hint: They are sewing RIPSTOP NYLON using thread
more than 4 times the size of ours… What size needle do you think THEY use? What does that do to the 'big needles damage the ripstop' argument?)
o These threads are available from kite making supply houses like those listed at the end of this page.