No matter what your project is, choosing the best thread for sewing is almost as important as choosing a fabric. And just like every type of fabric has its advantages and disadvantages, so do the threads. Picking the wrong type of thread for your project can seriously lessen the quality of your work, or even completely destroy the final product.
Sure, there are all-purpose threads that can be used and that will provide you with a decent result using almost any fabric. But if a decent result is not good enough for you, and you want the very best, then you have to stop relying on all-purpose threads and look into specialized threads that will give you the best results.
This article will provide you with everything you need to know about different types of threads and how to pick the best sewing thread for a certain project. Knowing this will also help you when working with a sewing machine as well.
Different Types of Thread
We differentiate sewing threads based on the material they are made of. Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. There are also special kinds of threads suitable for specific purposes.
Cotton threads are soft and delicate, with very little flexibility, which means they can easily break if you use them on a stretchy fabric such as polyester.
It is best used for fabrics that are light and for projects that are not meant to be elastic. Cotton is great for preventing your final product from stretching. Most cotton threads are mercerized, which means they have a special, almost silk-like coating for smooth gliding through a fabric.
Polyester threads can be used with all kind of fabrics, but work best with stretchy fabrics that are expected to be elastic as polyester is much more flexible than cotton and can withstand stretching more easily. Polyester threads come in an invisible version as well and are great for when it's important to you that stitches on your project are not visible.
Nylon's characteristics are very similar to those of polyester. Just like polyester threads, nylon threads are strong and flexible and best used for stretchy fabrics.
Silk threads are beautiful and durable and are mostly used for delicate projects, such as lingerie, although they have many other applications as well. It's usually much more expensive than other threads.
Wool threads are great for embroidery projects and work great with heavy fabric, such as wool or canvas. If you are in the market for a new machine and want to learn more about them, check out our review on embroidery machines
All-purpose threads are a combination of cotton and polyester. They are supposed to combine the best of polyester and cotton. And in most cases, they do. But, as mentioned before, you will not get the best possible result with them.
Special threads are meant for very specific tasks. For example, heavy-duty threads are extremely thick and are great for creating all kinds of upholstery. Button threads are also thick and strong and great for sewing on buttons. Metallic threads are a great choice for decorative sewing.
Picking the Best Thread for Sewing
Most seamstress' apply the following rule: The thread and the fabric should be made out of the same material. However, it's not that simple, as every material has different levels of strength and thickness. For example, you have a soft, thin cotton thread for delicate, light fabric, but you also have a stronger, thicker kind of cotton for harder materials, such as denim.
.If you are using a soft cotton thread for denim, it is likely your project will fall apart real quick. On the other hand, if you are using a thick thread on a very thin fabric, it will stand out and look ugly. The same can be applied to all other thread materials.
Before buying a thread, always check the material it's made from, how thick it is, for what size of the needle it's intended, and any other information that might interest you. Only then can you be sure that your project will turn out perfect and that stitches will won't fall apart.
As you can see, picking the best thread for sewing is not that easy as it depends on several factors. If you are buying your sewing threads online, do your research properly to find the best type and thickness of thread for your project. If you are buying them in specialized shops, don't pick the nearest one to you or take an all-purpose thread.
If you don't know much about threads, tell the salesman what you are working and he/she will know what kind of thread will be the best for you. And don't take the cheapest one you can find. When it comes to sewing threads, you get what you pay for. If you want the best quality, be prepared to pay for it.