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  1. #1

    Whats your thread of choice on nylon?

    Whats your thread of choice when sewing 1.1 nylon?

    So I have read several places that you should NOT use cotton thread, since it will soak the moisture, it also decomposes faster than the nylon and its just not as tough.

    I also saw someone selling special extra heavy duty thread, but what are people really using?

    The 1.1 ripstop is in the mail. This will be my 2nd hammock. I made one, 2 years ago, before I knew about this great forum but its only about 8ft long, so I am giving it to my 4 year old daughter. We plan to hang at the local campground soon (been practicing in the yard).

  2. #2
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    Any good quality 100% polyester thread should work. Many of us use Gutermann's Mara 70. It is stronger than standard threads and works well with home machines. While not quite as strong, Gutermann Sew All can be found locally and is perfectly acceptable.

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    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Guttermans polyester thread is a standard. It is more than sufficient and possibly a little large for 1.1.

    If you can find some good polyester V30 or T30 weight poly thread for kite building, even better but you'll probably have to buy a larger cone. I found some coats and clark light weight poly (probably T30) at wallyworld in the 50 cent rack that works well on Momentum 90, which is thinner than 1.1

    You don't need heavy weight thread for camping gear. Even "outdoor thread" is usually overkill.

    One thing to note about thread used in outdoors...large thread is not used for strength, it's used for strength after sitting in the sun for a couple years after it has deteriorated (and other reasons like abrasion resistance)

    An example of this is Tenera thread, which has a lifetime (of the cloth its sewn to) warranty outdoors, except for boat tops for some reason. It's initial strength is much less than its polyester counter part it's designed to replace, but since it does not deteriorate, it retains much more of its strengthafter years in the sun.

    I don't recommend cotton thread, but I think many say don't use it because others say don't use it. I'm the same way....BUT....

    how long does a pair of blue jeans last, or your favorite "Where's the Beef?" T shirt, both sewn with cotton thread, and is it the thread that fails or the fabric??? How many times have they been washed and dried? I came to this realization when sewing up my Liberty Ridge shell from Thru hiker with poly thread. It's clothing, why not use cotton?

    I take way better care of my camping gear than I do of my clothes, so I expect the material to fail before the stitching.

    As I step down off my soap box, I'm still using poly thread

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    Clinton's Avatar
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    I found a spool of nylon thread at joanns. It seems to work. Its not twisted together or anything but when stitched its tight and very strong it seems. I can not tear it with my hands what so ever.

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    I personally do not recommend nylon thread because it can be very hard for a home machine to handle. It can stretch very badly and that throws tensions off.

    Regarding cotton thread.... The general rule of thumb is to match the thread to the fabric used. So cotton thread for cotton fabric. What that really means is cotton thread for natural fibers. Polyester thread for synthetic fibers. There are mixtures for "all purpose" use but as usual "all purpose" means it doesn't do anything really well.

    The reasoning is this.... natural fibers are by nature softer than synthetics. You don't want the thread to cut the fabric as might happen if you use straight polyester thread on cotton. Nor do you want the fabric to cut thread as might happen using cotton thread on synthetic fabrics. While it is true that cotton rots in the outdoors, polyester deteriorates. To me that's a wash. It's the mixture of textures that bothers me and why I encourage not using cotton thread on gear.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I found a spool of nylon thread at joanns. It seems to work. Its not twisted together or anything but when stitched its tight and very strong it seems. I can not tear it with my hands what so ever.
    Yep that's what I use as well, I believe it's one of the stronger threads out there.

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    Gutermann; 100% polyester

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    If it helps, when you see Gutermann's "sew all" thread in the shop, that is nearly always their "Mara 100", which is Tex 30. Mara 70 is Tex 40. The Gutermann's thread type #'s don't have so much to do with the size/weight of the thread as they do with how many meters are on the spool. For the mini-cones that you normally find, Mara 100 has 1000 meters, Mara 70 has 700 meters, Tera 40 has 400 meters, Tera 80 has 800 meters... you get the drift. (Oh, and Tera 80 large cone would have 8000 meters, Mara 70 large cone - 7000 meters, you got it!)

    Anyway, most any Gutermann thread you find at a Jo-Ann's or other similar sewing shop is going to be Mara 100, Tex 30. They usually won't carry any "sew all" in a heavier weight because it's not really necessary when you're sewing a blouse or quilting. In fact, you can get by just fine with outdoor gear with Tex 30 weight thread, so don't be too put off by it. The reason I carry the heavier version, Tex 40, is simply because our end use sees a bit more stress than your average dress or blouse, and I like to err on the side of caution.
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  9. #9
    Thanks to everyone. I hoped we would have a really cool conversation about what everyone uses.

    I wish I had asked before I ordered my fabric, I would have had bwdd add the thread in. Its just like every other DIY project, I always go get ALL the parts, plus several extras, then build it. Later I have left over parts, but its never the parts I figured it would be. Thats the beginnings of a new project

  10. #10
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I found a spool of nylon thread at joanns. It seems to work. Its not twisted together or anything but when stitched its tight and very strong it seems. I can not tear it with my hands what so ever.
    Typically, nylon thread is used for upholstery. it isn't exposed to lots of UV.

    Pros:
    Bonded nylon is strong and consistent through the tension disks WHEN you get it dialed in.
    It sew pretty well without thread lubrication, but better with it, in my industrial machine.
    I prefer it to poly for upholstery, but I use an industrial needle feed, walking foot machine.

    Cons
    It can be sometimes be difficult to sew without thread lubrication
    It does not do well outdoors, meaning prolonged outdoors, b/c of poor UV resistance. Don't make a boat cover with it.

    Of course, hammocks and tents and tarps are made of nylon, and we know not to leave them in the sun all summer long.

    As far as post 4, being" untwisted" i dont recomend monofilament tread except for upholstery and definitely use thread lubrication with it. It gets very hot and flimsy while runningthrough the tension disks and needle eye. It's benefit is its clear and blends well with upholstery fabrics and patters.
    Last edited by nacra533; 05-31-2012 at 20:52. Reason: Mono thread

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