Sewing Thread: Choosing the Right Thread

Sewing ThreadChoosing the right sewing thread for your sewing project is vital for your sewing success, especially if you are using a high-end sewing machine. The more expensive electronic sewing machines are so finely calibrated that even just a little thread fuzz can wreck havoc on your machine’s performance. So, how do you choose the right sewing thread?

Types of Sewing Thread and Their Uses

Cotton thread (size 50) comes in multiple colors. This thread can be used on most sewing machines, if it is a quality thread. Store brands are cheaply made and often have small threads, some too small to see easily, fuzzing the side of the thread length. For this reason, most store brands should be avoided. Cotton thread is a good choice for cotton fabrics, rayons, and linens.

Cotton/polyester thread (size 60) is a fine thread used primarily for lingerie or other sewing when a very fine thread is required.

 Embroidery thread, not embroidery floss, (size 40) is often rayon, polyester, or a blend of the two. The array of colors availble in embroidery thread is incredible. This thread is well made, with very little fuzz. It can be used to sew most fabrics, including cotton, rayon, polyester, linen, knits, and many blends. Because it has so little fuzz, it works well for high-end electronic sewing machines and computerized embroidery machines. This is actually my thread of choice for almost all my sewing.

Silk thread (size A) is used for wool, silk, and most knits. It is very strong, and works well for machine sewing, hand sewing, tailoring, and basting. One of the best features of silk thread is that it does not leave holes from stitching after pressing. Some people like to use silk thread for applique and quilting.

Cotton-wrapped polyester is an all purpose sewing thread (size 50). It works well for most fabrics, but unless you are buying a quality brand like Coats & Clark, don’t use it. The store brands of cotton-wrapped polyester introduce too much fuzz into the machine’s inner workings.

Polyester thread (size 50) usually has a wax or silicone finish that helps it slip through fabric. Primarily used for woven synthetic fabrics, polyester sewing thread is also good for most stretch fabrics.

Nylon thread (size A) is used for machine basting, and can be used for most fabrics. It is also used in sewing nylon fabric and most lingerie fabrics. This is also a good bobbin thread.

Protect your sewing machine investment. Use only quality sewing thread manufactured by well-known companies, such as Coats & Clark or Sulky.

Photo Credit: kamuelaboy