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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    Sewing/Thread Questions.

    Ok, I know you are suppose to use a good 100% polyester thread.

    Any particular brand you guys can recommend.

    Do you change the color of the thread for everything you make or just use one color? If using one color what is your preference.

    Do you use different needles for different projects. If so how do you know which one to use.

    ok, thats a start I am sure I will have more.

    Jeff, if this is in the wrong place feel free to move it.

    Also should there be a place just for sewing tips/questions

  2. #2
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ewker View Post
    Ok, I know you are suppose to use a good 100% polyester thread.

    Any particular brand you guys can recommend.

    Do you change the color of the thread for everything you make or just use one color? If using one color what is your preference.

    Do you use different needles for different projects. If so how do you know which one to use.

    ok, thats a start I am sure I will have more.

    Jeff, if this is in the wrong place feel free to move it.

    Also should there be a place just for sewing tips/questions
    I use the black 100% poly stuff from Thru-Hiker. It's ~$13 for a cone that most people couldn't use in a lifetime. It's good and strong, hydrophobic, and a fair amount cheaper than Gutermann's.

    I use a light industrial needle for light materials. If I'm sewing through several layers or webbing, I use a heavy-duty Singer needle. Sorry, can't remember the size numbers.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  3. #3
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I use Gutermann's 100% poly. Whatever you do, don't get the cheap Walmart stuff, and don't get anything with cotton in it.

    I use black on almost everything...it matches most colors, especially since I try to use dark colors or gray when I can. I also have some red b/c I used to have a bunch of red material but I don't use it much anymore.

    The needle should be suited to the project, but that's not hard. Small needles for thin fabrics, bigger needles for thicker materials. I use the orange Singer needle...I think it's the smallest one they make. It's great for thin materials like sil and 1.9 oz ripstop, and it works good enough on two layers of webbing. That's the thickest thing I usually sew, so I rarely change it.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  4. #4
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    I second gutterman thread. JoAnn Fabrics usually has a 1000 meter spoil for $7-ish. They had a sale on small rolls a while back. I got a couple different colors then.

    I always make sure I use a sharpe needle that isn't too much bigger than the thread.

    I mainly use black. The other color was mainly to make my tarp project turn out cleaner.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    I use several brands - all high quality 100% polyester. Avoid cheap thread like a plague - it tangles, frays and fails. For seams that are going to be subject to a lot of stress (like a hammock), I would go with what JJ and HE have recommended. Most of my projects will never (barring a hurricane or tornado) see that sort of stress.

    As for needles - this is another place to buy quality because no-name needles don't stay sharp. I use the smallest needle I can - usually Singer regular point size 11 (the orange JJ mentioned) - for silnylon, ripstop and woven polyester. I use the smallest ballpoint needle I can find for knits. For multi-layer webbing, I use a size 14 regular needle or a size 12 denim needle.
    Last edited by Frolicking Dino; 02-11-2007 at 05:16. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    I am sure you guys already know this but I didn't
    I copied this off the thru-hiker.com website. It talks about what size thread to use with what project and the needle size they recommend (using their 100% polyesther thread)

    "TEX 40: Perfect for tarps, packs & stuff sacks. Needle recommendation: 90/14 or 100/16
    TEX 24: Excellent for apparel and sleeping bags. Needle recommendation: 65/9 or 70/10"


    I just looked and the machine I got yeterday has the 90/14 needle. I will probably buy a spare unless there is one with the accessories I got.
    They do need to make the text sizing larger (on the needle) so a person can read it. I don't have 20 yr old eyes anymore

  7. #7
    Member seuss's Avatar
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    Needles are disposable. Lay in a supply of various sizes. Always start a new project with a new needle and don't be afraid to change needles if you even suspect it's getting dull. Smaller and sharper needles will dull quicker than larger needles. Synthetic fabrics dull needles faster than natural fabrics. When sewing ripstop you can tell when the needle has gone too dull by listening for the "popping" sound as you sew. Synthetic fabrics dull needles faster than natural fabrics.

    Don't bother trying to read the printing on the needle itself, read the printing on the case/package the needle came in.

    Needles aren't free, but they're relatively cheap. I just bought a new batch of #9 needles yesterday, 5 for $3. Yeah, that's $3 I'd rather not have spent, but I look at it like one new needle is cheaper even than 1 yard of Wally World clearance fabric and takes up less space to store. So I lay in a supply and change them profligately.

  8. #8
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seuss View Post
    When sewing ripstop you can tell when the needle has gone too dull by listening for the "popping" sound as you sew.
    Just an observation, but sil makes that noise even with a small, brand-new needle. At least in my experience.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  9. #9
    Senior Member Redtail's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the needle info. I was totally clueless what the numbers meant before reading this thread, I think the one I have is kinda big.

    I have a related question, what size straight stitch do you use for sewing hems in your hammock? The kite site with sewing ripstop info said 8 per inch is the "industry standard" but that seems kinda big (long?) when I look at it. I couldn't find a number recommendation searching the usual sites, just some posts mentioning that it should be smaller for thinner fabrics.

  10. #10
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redtail View Post
    Thanks for all the needle info. I was totally clueless what the numbers meant before reading this thread, I think the one I have is kinda big.

    I have a related question, what size straight stitch do you use for sewing hems in your hammock? The kite site with sewing ripstop info said 8 per inch is the "industry standard" but that seems kinda big (long?) when I look at it. I couldn't find a number recommendation searching the usual sites, just some posts mentioning that it should be smaller for thinner fabrics.
    I'm not sure how many per inch...I generally use a "2" setting on my machine for most things. You definitely do want a smaller stitch for thin fabrics. Trying to make the feed dogs pull more material each time will pucker the stuff if it's too thin.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

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