Let's talk about thread!
I used to grab whatever I could find to sew with, but my friend who is teaching me to quilt is encouraging me to spend my money wisely and buy better qaulity thread. I'm new to sewing so it wasn't so important to me in the beginning but now I know a bit more an know that she makes sense and it will in the long run treat my machines better too!
So I want to know what threads you guys use. Suggestions for threads? Can they be run in both new machines and antiques? As I have both. What is some mid level thread that won't brake my bank but still give me nice results? ;)
Also tips on what thread goes to what kind of sewing/fabric would be grateful too. The more knowledge I can gather the better I will be I think! :) thanks in advance. Also If someone could help me decifer the needle types that would be helpful too. They sort of make sense to me.
I hate to tell you, but you are going to get as many answers as there are types of threads. What you want to look at is how the thread looks when you look at a piece up in the light. If it looks fuzzy (irregular, bumpy), it will do this in your machine and may cause problems. Threads and needle sizes need to fit each other. Best idea is to use the same thread in the top and the bobbin, and using same color hides a lot of mistakes. Now having said that, I love Isacord and King Tut the best. Isacord is slick (because it is a poly blend), and that makes it easier for me to remove when I have to rip out stitches. It is also excellent for embroidery. King Tut is beautiful for quilting. Experiment and use what works best for you and your machines.
For piecing, I fell in love with Aurifil 50wt 2-play. It seems expensive per spool, but it is finer than regular thread so it goes much farther. It is smooth and creates almost no lint. Its fineness helps seam allowance accuracy. Also, the bobbin thread lasts longer because more thread fits on it.
For quilting, it really depends on your machine and the type of look you want. A lot of people like King Tut, which is a heavier cotton thread, but it is pricey. I found that I really like the look of Aurifil 50wt 2-play for quilting on my domestic machine. Just purchased a longarm, though, and because the longarm stitches so much faster Aurifil 50wt 2-ply won't be strong enough; the previous owner said that Aurifil 40wt works in it, though.
Be aware that thread weight numbers go up for finer thread and down for heavier thread. 60wt is a finer thread than 40wt.
Go to Superior Threads.com for great tutorials on thread, needles, matching needle to thread, etc. Your machine may tell you what thread it likes. I've never used it, but I hear a lot of quilters like Connecting Threads. It is a good price.
Patti took the words out of my mouth ... there are as many opinions on thread as there are on what shoes are the most comfortable to wear. Not everyone is the same, not every machine is the same, and not everyone has easy access to the same thread.
This is the best I can suggest.
Choose perhaps 3-5 threads and purchase ONE spool of each of those threads in a commonly used color (medium grey, taupe). Use each of them and keep notes on such things as: were there any problem with breakage or shredding of the thread while using, note the amount of fuzz build up in all the usual areas of the machine (bobbin case, stitch plate, presser foot, and upper shank of needle bar), how does the thread look on your project (if used for quilting), note the needle and tension used, and was there any difference in your 1/4" seam width with the different threads (some 50wt thread is thicker than others).
What I like, and what another sewer likes ... may not be what you and you your machine like. YOU can be the only judge. There is NO right or wrong thread ... if you choose Coats and Clark over expensive Aurifil - that's what you choose.
Of course another factor could be what your LQS carries. NONE of the stores in my area carry my thread, I have to purchase it online. For that reason I purchased the color chart so I know what I'm buying.
I went through a similar experiment, but mine was far more costly as I bought a bunch of different colors of a specific thread before I tried it - and wound up HATING it and trading it all to another QB member. I have since found what is now *my* thread and for the most part I'm sticking to it - but I have purchased single spools of other threads to try them out.
Good luck with your experiments!!
visit the Superior Threads web site- they have a wealth of information- telling you about the different threads, the difference in weights, fibers, uses, needles to use---lots of great info.
i do use alot of thread from Connecting thread- i also use silk thread for hand work & applique, I use aurafil, i use cotton & poly & wool....there are so many and each has its use & place.
Atlanta Thread company is also a good one---but Superior is my (go to) place when i want to learn about a new thread.
I use Aurifil 50 wt cotton or Presencia 50wt cotton as my top thread in all my machines. Bottom Line 60 wt poly in all my bobbins
http://www.superiorthreads.com is my source for Bottom Line.
And, as ckcowl told you, they are a terrific source for thread information.
Yes Superior threads is a great resource for info... but for me if it passes the "break test" I use it .
The size of needle is just as important as the type of thread. You need to know the best needle type and size works with each type of thread. I use size 80/12 needle for 2 ply 50wt thread. I use a size 90/14 for 3 ply 50wt thread. It's important to know the ply as well as the weight. I use Aurifil the most because I have a lot of it. I like all brands though. Coats and Clark metallic thread is the only metallic that won't break or shred on my machine.
Each brand has pros and cons for me.
I'm lucky that my machine is not finicky about thread. When I started quilting I used Star thread because that's the basic cotton thread that my LQS carries. I still use it for machine quilting, but for piecing I just love using 50 wt Aurifil. I buy that in white, ecru and lt. grey. It makes so much difference for me in my piecing accuracy. I also love how long my bobbin thread lasts.