Types Of Sewing Thread And How To Choose The Right One

Different colored threads
Image credit: @freepic

Types Of Sewing Thread And How To Choose The Right One

Types Of Sewing Thread And How To Choose The Right One

Are you one of those people who pick up just any thread whose color is matched or similar to fabric? Or you think long and hard about the type of sewing thread you should be using for particular fabric? If you’re in the second group then you are on the great path for becoming a good sewer. If not, there’s always time to improve your skills and these hacks might be quite helpful.

When picking the sewing thread, there are so many more important features to think about than just its color. In fact, when the inside sutures, its shade doesn’t even matter since it won’t be visible. What is more important is the durability and quality of thread, as well as its usage for different fabrics.

According to the material that is made off, there are several types of thread:

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Silk
  • Woolen
  • Metallic

A clear understanding of each of these types will make you a step closer to the best possible outcome. Selecting a sewer thread isn’t something you should leave to chance, but the result of a thoughtful process. To help you to better understand this process, here is a shortlist of the main features of all types of threads, as well as guide how to choose the correct one.

All-purpose Cotton Thread

This is the widely used type of thread for all kinds of natural fabrics. As the name says, it has the best effect on cotton materials, but its lustrous and smooth finish which makes it ideal for sewing with other fabrics as well.

While the all-purpose cotton thread is useful for all kinds of projects, its disadvantage lays in its durability and snaps more easily than the polyester thread. On the other hand, it can take a lot of heat, especially while pressing seams. It is also very affordable and it can be found in many non-sewers stores which contribute greatly to its popularity.

Polyester thread

Thread made from polyester is ideal when you are sewing synthetic fabrics. Much sturdier than cotton thread, it doesn’t tend to break so easily. It glides smoothly through the fabric thanks to its wax or silicone finish, making sewing by hand much faster and precise.

The polyester thread also comes in a transparent finish, so it’s a great tool for hiding or making invisible stitches. It is multifunctional and suitable for all types of fabric, including stretch. If you choose the quality one with a reinforced center, your stitches can last for ages.

The biggest downside lays in the very nature of the threat – this artificial material can’t take a lot of heat and it can get damaged when pressed by the iron.

Female designer sewing with polyester thread

Image credit: @freepick

Silk thread

A refine silk sewing thread is ideal for more delicate, natural fabrics like silk and wool. Surprisingly strong, it withstands heat quite well. Still, when used on silk or wool, the proper needle is necessary. While the thread itself doesn’t leave marks, the wrong choice of the needle can make holes in the sensitive fabric while sewing.

Silk thread is also widely used for making jewelry, as shown in the video below:

Woolen thread

If you’re working with thicker fabric like wool or canvas than the woolen sewing thread will be right up your alley. For sewing by hand, you will need large needles. When using this thread on the sewing machine, remember to adjust the tension.

It is a very strong thread, but it only endures medium-high ironing temperatures. Since it burns easily, it should be kept from flammable sources at all times.

Woolen sewing threads in various colors

Image credit:@freepic/ rawpixel.com

Metallic thread

Metallic thread generally refers to the thread created by twisting and bonding a fine metallic foil around a strong core. The result is an exceptionally smooth, strong and pliable thread that has a shine of real metal – silver, gold, bronze or copper.

Earlier this type of sewing thread was made of metal fibers, nowadays it is actually created of synthetic material – a special type of plastic coated with a metallic finish. Used mainly in handbags, purses, and accessories, this thread also looks amazing in with other embroidery threads, giving it a shiny finish.

While it gives a touch of glamour to any clothing piece, it is very hard for sewing. Since it isn’t stretchy, breaks frequently, and tends to tangles and knots at the drop of a hat.

Choose correct sewing thread

Now that we got a bit familiar with the types of threats and their usage, it’s time to see how to select a right sewing thread for your project.

Here are some of the main guidelines:

  • Match the fabric – It is basic logic that you will use silk thread on silk fabric rather a plain cotton one. The thread should always match the type of fabric used to give the best results.
  • The color isn’t so important – Will you match the color of the thread with a color of the fabric is completely up to you. It is the thing of your personal preferences. In case you wish to perfectly match the colors, snip off a piece of fabric and compare it to the thread in daylight.
  • Keep in mind the eye of the needle – All that thinking about the right thread goes down the drain if you don’t have the needle that can support it. After all, the tread has to go through the eye smoothly. Also, look out for thread not to be frayed. If it is, the chances are it will break easily, making it more difficult to thread your needle.

Smiled seamstress adjusting the garment on a manikin

Image credits: @freepic/odua

With all these tips in the back of your head, you can start your sewing project. Don’t forget that its result will depend on the quality of threat and its right selection for specific material. So choose sewing thread carefully with attention to all features mentioned above.


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