As a beginner in sewing, it's easy to get lost in the countless tools needed to achieve a professional finish. What comes after choosing your fabric? Do you just select your thread by color or whatever is available?
Just like picking the right fabric, needle, and sewing machine, choosing the right thread for your sewing project is important. In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about sewing thread by answering the most commonly asked questions by beginner sewers.
1. What Difference Does a Sewing Thread Make?
Did you know that there is a sewing machine that can operate without any thread using ultrasonic bonding? Through this process, patterns can be defined and will not become worn at the edge as long as the fabric is 60 percent synthetic.
Sewing without a thread seems utterly useless, but not with an ultrasonic sewing machine. However, not every sewer can have a "high-tech" sewing machine like this. Most sewers still rely on sewing threads, mainly because of its function.
In fact, sewing thread is one of the most crucial elements of sewing. A garment is made by aligning two or more pieces of fabric using a sewing thread. The primary purpose of a sewing thread is to create effective stitches throughout the lifespan of the product it is used on without breaking or deforming.
A sewing thread also delivers aesthetics and performance in stitches and seams. It serves its performance function when we use it to sew seams, and it serves an aesthetic function when we use it for embellishment like embroidery.
2. What Factors Affect a Thread’s Ability to Perform Its Functions?
Now that you know why a thread is an essential tool in sewing, let's move on to how some factors can affect its aesthetic and performance functions.
Factors That Affect Aesthetics
Color, thickness, and luster are some factors looked at when choosing an embroidery thread and thread for topstitching. However, on a deeper level, factors such as shade matching, selection of stitches, and uniformity of stitch formation affect how a stitch will look.
Factors That Affect Performance
A sewing thread's performance is measured by its ability to resist abrasion and needle heat, which occur during sewing, stretching, and finishing the garment. Thread performance in garments can be assessed through the strength of the seam, resistance to abrasion and chemicals, elasticity, and color fastness.
3. What Is Thread Sewability?
The ability of a sewing thread to perform on a sewing machine is referred to as “sewability.” The sewability of a sewing thread is important because it will directly affect the quality of the seam, which in turn also affects the overall quality of a garment.
Meanwhile, here are some parameters that define a thread's good sewability:
- The ability of the thread not to break during high-speed sewing
- High resistance to abrasion
- Ability to prevent changes in tension during sewing
- Adequate surface smoothness, allowing for easy passage through machine guides
4. What Are the Different Types of Thread?
In case you didn't know yet, an all-purpose polyester thread works well on most materials. However, if you're using a slightly different fabric, you should use a thread similar to that material for better results.
For instance, if you're using 100% cotton material for your fabric, you should pair it with 100% cotton thread for sewing machine. Usually, a sewing pattern gives instructions and advice on which type of thread you should use for your sewing project so don’t forget to check it, too.
Ever wonder how many different kinds of sewing thread there are? There are lots!
Here are some of the most commonly used types of thread and their different uses:
- Cotton - Cotton thread for sewing machines has very little stretch. Many cotton threads undergo numerous chemical processes that make them more lustrous, plus water and dye-absorbent.
- Polyester - Unlike cotton thread, polyester has some stretch. The finish of polyester thread makes it easier to pass through fabric than some cotton threads.
- Specialized sewing threads: These are made of various materials and should match the fabric's thread content. Specialized threads are used for repairs, embroidery, dressmaking or quilting.
Here are some of the specialized machine thread to choose from:
- Cotton thread - This type of machine thread can be used for all kinds of sewing project. When it comes to color, white cotton sewing machine thread is commonly used. Cotton 30 is a thicker thread compared to usual cotton threads.
- Quilting thread - This machine thread's waxy finish allows easy movement through quilting.
- Heavy duty thread - This is a combination of cotton and polyester.
- Rayon thread - This machine thread helps give a smooth finish to embroidery and other stitches.
- Nylon thread - This type of thread is suitable for light to medium weight fabrics.
- Metallic thread - This thread is available in gold, silver, and copper finishes.
5. How Do I Choose the Right Thread?
Just like using the right fabric and correct needle, choosing the right thread is also important for your sewing project.
Here are some factors to consider:
When choosing the right type of thread, always consider its advantages and disadvantages. Choose a quality thread that resists friction during sewing and is durable in the wash.
Consider how the thread is wound on the spool. Choosing your thread based on the spool holder in your machine will help you solve thread feed issues.
Brands of Sewing Thread
Quality sewing machine threads always make a huge difference for fabrics like silk, wool, or denim. Look for brands whose threads won't easily break and would not have uneven stitches.
The key to choosing the best thread for your sewing machine is to identify and look for the thread that would work best for your sewing project. We hope that we have shed light on sewing machine threads and can help you overcome the challenge of choosing the best one. If you want to increase your knowledge and sharpen your skills in sewing, don’t hesitate to read our blogs. Happy sewing!