Thread is and will always be a fundamental factor for any sewing project. Whether you are to use a machine or simply by hand, everyone just can't sew without using one. How many times, though, have you found yourself at the checkout counter of your favorite fabric store, uttering, "Oh, yes, I need thread!?" And you simply grab a spool from the nearest rack, in a matching color of course, but without much thought as to what type or brand might produce the best results for your project. Well, you sure are guilty of it.
So, does it really matter which thread you are going to use? Absolutely, it does. Hence you have to choose wisely in order for your thread to produce strong and durable seams without being obtrusive on your fabric. Here’s everything you need to know about thread and why it’s just so important to choose the apt one.
Why the Quality of a Thread is So Important
It seems that everyone (including you) loves a bargain. Of course, who doesn't? However, when it comes to sewing, you would always want a quality finished product and the best way to achieve that is to use quality components. For sure, your sewing machine would totally agree.
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Among other characteristics, better quality threads are made of long, tightly woven fibers while economical ones have short, loose, stray fibers – the types that can get stuck in your fabric and in your sewing machine while sewing. Although it’s quite difficult to see these loose fibers with the naked eye, rest assured that they are there. These tiny strays rub against the thread, leaving it weak and subject to breakage, both while you're sewing and later in the seam itself. These little fibers also clog your sewing machine's tension disks - the little devices that control the pressure as your upper thread travels through your machine - and affect your machine's ability to maintain an evenly formed stitch.
There is nothing more frustrating than broken thread, skipped stitches and uneven tension. Choosing quality thread will greatly reduce the negative effects of stray fibers, allowing your machine to maintain even thread tension and eliminating weakness and breakage.
Some Helpful Tips About Sewing Thread
There’s no doubt that quality Matters, so you should always go for the best thread you can afford, as much as possible. You also need to understand what type of fabric you will be using for your project prior to selecting a specific thread, as it should blend with the properties of your fabric, (fiber, weight and weave).
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Furthermore, your pattern or tutorial may recommend a specific thread type for suggested fabrics; hence it’s always best to try and match this recommendation whenever possible. It is also worth noting that the higher the number, the finer the thread is. You just need to be mindful with the letters, as these are used to indicate size, such as A is a fine thread while D is a heavy thread.
Be sure to use the right needle when using specialty threads and adjust your tension accordingly if sewing on a machine. Also check to see if the thread you are using is suitable for machine use. Some are not, like hand quilting specialty threads. Choosing the color for your thread is a subjective decision: match the fabric or use a contrasting color? It's your choice! For solid fabrics, the vast majority will select a color that is the closest match. Most print fabrics have a predominate or background color and this color is chosen. Either way, if you cannot find the exact color, choose one slightly darker; a lighter color will be more noticeable.
Use these same principles when selecting thread for your serger, so make sure to use a quality one only. It is finer and does not produce as much lint and dust as regular thread. Serger thread is specially wound and glides quickly, preventing knots. Your thread ages! Make sure that spool of thread kicking around in the bottom of your sewing basket is still good! See if a strand of it feels smooth or if you can break it. If it feels lumpy or breaks easily, throw it away.