Saturday, April 20, 2013


I have been trying to find out more about thread. I pay enough for thread, and am always using it. I've read stuff, but then of what I have read on blogs, most of the bloggers are being sponsored by the thread companies. Of course they are going to "LOVE" the thread that they are using. I too, would like to be sponsored, but alas I am a little spec in the blogging world and my hard earned dollars have to go towards making wise decisions!

LtoR: Presencia, Signature, Isacord

Just to give you an idea of the prices:
Presencia Egyptian Cotton - 60 wt for 4394 m at $34.99 Canadian + GST
Signature Cotton - 40 wt for 3000 m at $16.99 + GST
Isacord Polyester 5000 m  at $20.99 + GST

Isacord is apparently twice the strength of rayon thread. It has a shine comparable to rayon. It is used for embroidery and comes in many colors. This is a thread that is used in free motion quilting by Leah Day for it's strength. This is a low fluff thread, so when you use it, you will notice there is less fuzz in your machine than with the cotton. Some die-hard quilters refuse to use polyester and say that it ruins the quilt as it will cut through the fabric (maybe in 200 years or more, but hey, I don't plan on being around that long!)

Signature 40 wt: is supposed to sew at high speeds with no trouble. I figure any speed over "slow" for me causes trouble, so I need all the help I can get! It is a 3-ply thread that works on both domestic and long-arm machines. It comes in multiple colors and they say it's great for "multi-directional" sewing. Does that mean if I sew backwards and forwards and sideways I'll have less breakage? They say it's "low ling", so that's a good thing in my books! We will have to wait and see! Longarm University uses this thread.

Presencia Egyptian 60wt is solid dyed and colorfast. It is slightly thinner than the 50wt and they say it blends into piecing. It's 3-ply and can be used for hand or machine piecing. (I use any thread I can get my hands on for piecing by machine or by hand) Harriet Hargrave uses this thread. The colors can be used with any detergent.

Generally, they say the thinner the thread, the closer you get to your 1/4" seam. The higher the number (40 wt, 50 wt, 60 wt) the finer the thread.

The Presencia America website quotes:

40 weight is designed for longarm quilting, decorative stitching and top stitching — when you want the stitches to show. Mercerized - Colorfast - Shrinkfast

50 weight is ideal for general construction, piecing and appliqué.

60 weight is perfect for invisible applique or quilt piecing to achieve an exact 1/4" seam allowance.

I guess in time, I will find the "perfect" thread for me. I am finally able to tell the difference between "cheap" cotton fabric and "quality" cotton fabric. Some of the fabrics that are "cheap" can have a good "feel" to them. I found that the cheap fabric quilt that I made for my son way back when, still looks just as good as it did years ago despite multiple washes. I can tell the difference though with the batting that I used compared to the batting you can choose now. As for the thread, I have no idea whether it's polyester or cotton. I am sure I could figure it out if I wanted to pull some of the thread out and see how easy it will split or come out, or whether it has more elasticity to it (i.e. polyester). I do know that I like hand piecing with thinner thread as it tends to hide my stitches so that they are nearly invisible. So a higher weight is a good thing. As for the fuzzies, I know that the cotton threads tend to leave a whole lotta fuzz in my machine and I have to clean it out a lot more. I noticed as well that depending on what I am sewing, cotton tends to break easier than polyester.

Things to think about when you are choosing thread is: hot irons -- polyester will melt, whereas cotton will not. Sometimes you need a hot iron to get your pieces to lay they way you want them to lay! They say that polyester will shred cotton fabric in time (we are talking years and years). Think about how much quilting you are going to put in the quilt -- how do you want it to appear? Do you want it to show, or do you want the stitches invisible.

I am learning as I go along! Tensions etc. are a headache for me and my Symphony basically does all the work for me. I don't have to worry about the tension -- but I may have to one day. I am experimenting on threads lately. I have a lot of polyester thread that I would hate to waste! I also have a load of cotton threads in different weights that I want to use, along with some variegated rayon threads for thread painting lately!

My Internet research didn't help a whole lot as every website that I visited had their own favorite. There is no science to threads and it seems that the consensus is find a thread that works for YOU!  My next challenge is to find the thread I LOVE and a shop that sells it the CHEAPEST! ha ha! I have used King Tut and loved it.  will take you to a great website that deals with needle sized and thread. It's a good place to get the basics down.

Happy Quilting everyone! Tomorrow I am off for a Mystery Quilt Day! So excited!



KT said...

Thank you! I am still new to quilting and all this info helps!!

Margo said...

Hey KT -- I sewed with the Presencia today and it was great for piecing. It had very little lint. Keep browing and keep learning new things. If you hear of anything new, let me know! I'm learning new things every day!