Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Thread is Best For Quilting?

What Thread is Best For Quilting?
By Kate Welder

Quilting thread is classified under two categories that is sewing and embellishing thread. The sewing thread is the one most used and is especially fit for quilting. Sewing thread comes in a variety of options, fibers and weights alike and the latter can be between 28 to 60. Because quilting threads need to be durable and withstand the time test, you should buy threads of 40 weight or somewhere near this number. Those closer to the 28 thread are for embellishments and those with a weight of 50 are sturdier and stronger, therefore used for piecing. How do you read the weight of a thread? Just study a little the label and you will see a little marking on the label, saying for instance 40/2. This means the thread weight and respectively how many plies it has. Therefore, the thread in the example has a 40 weight and 2 plies.

Threads designed for quilting are made of cotton, polyester, plastic, rayon or metallic materials. The metallic or plastic threads are commonly used in embellishments or to add specialized stitches. The cotton ones are used at larger scales and therefore they are widely available. They are also subjected to a mercerized process, in which the cotton threads that are treated with sodium hydroxide to shrink and increase their luster and affinity for dye. Cotton threads usually weigh from 30 to 60.

Rayon threads also display an increased affinity for luster while the polyester one holds the advantage that it doesn't shrink when washed and it neither loses its color. You should also bear in mind that metallic threads need acquires skills beforehand so that you can sew them together, so this type of sewing is not for beginners. When purchasing threads for your quilting, look for the specialized companies that have a long term tradition and quality reputation like Coats and Clark, or Guterman specializing in hand quilting and renowned for the quality and refinement of their threads, Madeira rayon threads, strong enough to be used for embroidering on denim and leather or Mettler, a company which offers several types of fibers.

Another thing to consider is your sewing tool; if it's old and rusty, it should be better left behind. If the spool moves itself, unreel it then pull it back on. If you come across threads that snap, it's best to leave them apart because they will snap inside your sewing machine too. Considering that the thread market nowadays offers so many inexpensive options, it is best to buy new thread whenever you need one and don't try to save money on the threads' quality. After all, you will end up less frustrated and you will do your work more quickly.

You will also find numerous types of threads available for different embellishments and you could find these in the local specialized store. For manual quilting, you can utilize embroidery floss, which comes in different shapes and fibers in every store you can think of.

At the end of the day, by choosing wisely the threads you are just beginning to become mesmerized by the beautiful art of quilting.

For more information on quilting and to receive a free ebook "Quilting Reveled 101" please visit

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