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Thread: Monofilament thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member sew_lulu's Avatar
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    Has anyone use monofilament thread? It's for every day item use?

    Well, the reason I'm asking b/c I got a kit and the instruction was to use that thread to applique.

    I like to able to use this quilt while I'm watching TV and worry that this thread is break if I put it in the washing machine.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
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    Personally, I absolutely hate monafilament thread and won't use it at all. I think it's a personal preference though.

  3. #3
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    To me monofilament thread is picky as in it picks. I don't like it either.

  4. #4
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    I have lots of friends who absolutely love monofiliment thread & use it all the time. Me, I hate the stuff and won't use it and here is why. The main reason is that no one knows how the monofiliment thread will act with your quilt over the long haul. I know I do NOT want to spend 300 hours hand appliquing a quilt only to have the thread wear away the seams as it rubs or worse, simply break like old fishing line does after enough time has gone by & leaving me to redo all that work. I also hate the way it feels. My quilts are usually lap or bed quilts so feel is very important to me. I know you can't iron it from the front or you can melt the thread, and since I love to iron (okay, press!) this just won't work for me. I hear it is also sensitive to being put in a warm/hot dryer.

    I know it can cover up a multitude of sins but for me, the shortcut isn't worth the problems that can occur. And since I want my quilts to last for a long, long time, I'd rather just use a color that matches the piece I'm working on and switch out threads if necessary over using the monofiliment. JMO.

  5. #5
    Super Member olmphoto2's Avatar
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    Make certain that the thread is polyester, not nylon. Sulky makes one and now Madeira (sp?). They are soft, tolerate your iron and (I've been told) will not disintegrate or become brittle after a few years as nylon will---so important with heirloom sewing.

  6. #6
    Super Member olmphoto2's Avatar
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    Additionally:
    I have been using Sulky extensively for hand work and machine quilting. Recently completed DD and SIL wedding OBW using it. Sulky comes in both clear and smoke and is a rather fine gauge thread but strong, IMO.
    The thread (polyester monofil) does require a little getting use to. Needs an upright spindle for machine so it doesn't 'unfurl' for you. Curls quite a bit with hand sewing---but doesn't tend to knot particularly.
    My piece at the right (profile pic) was quilted using Sulky. RaNae Merrill (author, Simply Amazing Spirals) first clued me into the diffences in monofilament thread a number of years back. Thanks, RaNae ! ;)

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Monofilament thread is great, but only if you use the right type and brand. It would not usually be used for hand applique because it's hard to see and control; it is a boon to machine applique, however. I learned about it from Harriet Hargrave's wonderful book on machine applique (also took a course with her during which we quilted with monofilament).

    The only type of monofilament thread I will use is YLI. This thread is .003 mm thick, similar in thickness to very fine hair. It does not create "pokies", and the feel of it in a finished quilt is not different from cotton thread; you just don't notice it. It does not break in the washer or dryer.

    You would not want to use monofilament for satin stitch applique, but I am assuming you are planning on using a machine blind stitch for the applique.

    If you are really deadset against using monofilament, some people substitute silk thread for blind-stitch machine applique.

  8. #8
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olmphoto2
    Make certain that the thread is polyester, not nylon. Sulky makes one and now Madeira (sp?). They are soft, tolerate your iron and (I've been told) will not disintegrate or become brittle after a few years as nylon will---so important with heirloom sewing.
    Ditto to olmphoto2's comments! Polyester is soft, where the nylon is more like fishing line. I used it on a quilt that I had trouble deciding a thread color for. It came out nice, but I do prefer regular thread.

    I often use Sulky Rayon thread for appliques.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sew_lulu's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this thread.

    I'll have to see what kind of thread that I've purchased. I'm getting ready to cut out my pattern but still little doubtful as to what monofilament thread is ok for in the long run.

  10. #10

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    I agree you might also look into silk threads as someone mentioned. In addition, you might look into some of the newer lighter weight - smaller diameter, larger number- threads.

    Superior makes Bottom Line in many colors and their light colors fade into the fabric very similar to monofilament. YLI, Madeira and other companies make similar threads too.

    There is no concern about using polyester thread in cotton fabric - the old tlae was that it would cut through the cotton fibers. This is not true of current thread and current manufacturing process.

    Superior is one of the thread companies that have a great website for all kinds of information, too.

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