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Thread: How much more thread gets used?

  1. #1
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    How much more thread gets used?

    I feel like I should be able to figure this out for myself by doing a simple experiment...but perhaps someone else has already done the experiment!

    When you shorten your stitch length you are going to use more thread because there will be more up-and-down-through-the-fabric length than with a longer stitch. How much more thread is used? Is it significant? Is it proportional to the change in stitch length? For example: if I shorten my stitch length from 8 to 12 stitches per inch will I use 50% more thread?

    This is just idle curiosity on my part...

    Alison

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I haven't thought about it but I would think the thread amount would be more for the short stitch length but not a lot more. I guess you could sew a few inches using the different stitch length and then remove the thread and measure. That would be easier then using math.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I don't believe it'd be nearly that much more. The only difference will be the number of "hooks" (where the top and bottom hook together) used, as opposed to the thread remaining perfectly straight. Unless your fabric is really thick and/or the stitches really loose, that can't be much thread.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I agree with Neesie. Not enough difference to be concerned about. We "waste" far more thread on starts and stops.

  5. #5
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    I do not think it is very much. Much more thread is used when sewing something individually rather chaining peices together. I try to chain when ever possible since I know it uses less thread then sewing each peice individually.

  6. #6
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I don't know if there is any formula to figure out the difference in thread usage, but really don't think it would be that much different. i also try to use chain piecing as much as possible to save on thread.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I haven't done the experiment yet, but I will. I mis-wrote my 50% - I was thinking 50% more of "up and down" thread - the horizontal distance would be the same.

    Yeah, the biggest change would come with thick fabric or layers, which is not really an issue with piecing, but would be with quilting. What got me thinking about this was the HUGE stitches you see on mass-produced quilts and comforters. You know the manufacturers of things like that are aware of even the tiniest extra cost...so there must be some penalty to making small stitches on low-cost items...

    Alison

  8. #8
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    Manufacturers are also trying to get items done as fast as possible, and use methods that would result in less wear and tear on their machines. Let us know how your experiment works out.

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