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.