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Cotton vs. Polyester thread and shrinkage

Cotton vs. Polyester thread and shrinkage

Old 07-17-2020, 08:29 AM
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Default Cotton vs. Polyester thread and shrinkage

Hi

I had a question whether to use cotton or polyester for quilting/piecing. I know there is another thread talking about this but my question is more specific...

I am a beginner and I am going to use a jelly roll for the first time. Now I read that the jelly rolls (specifically from Kauffman) shrink a lot but that is preferable not to pre-wash them because of the potential distortion of the grain and the amount of fraying it can happen. Also because itís crispier without pre-wash and that makes cutting easier...

anywho, this got me thinking: polyester does not shrink, cotton shrinks. With this in mind, wouldnít it be best to quilt in this case (without pre-washing fabric) with a cotton thread of weight 40? Then when the shrinkage occurs it would not pucker as much?

Excuses for my long question but this is something I am unable to find a clear answer on... 😅

thank you
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:10 AM
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I use a 50 wt. polyester most of the time ant have great results.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:41 AM
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I have used both cotton and polyester thread and had good results with both. I think as long as you use good quality thread your project will turn out fine. A quilt is only as good as it's thread so use good thread.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:38 PM
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i don't think cotton thread shrinks as much as cotton fabrics and batting do.
i won't use poly to piece but it's a purely personal preference.
(kinda like some people will never step on a crack or walk under a ladder. lol)
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Old 07-18-2020, 02:12 PM
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I've used all kinds of threads. I don't use things like Isacord for piecing quilts but have used it for piecing other things. So far nothing has fallen apart or broken.
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by juliasb View Post
I use a 50 wt. polyester most of the time ant have great results.
sounds good! I have been using that for everything but have been pre-washing all my fabrics...

do you pre-wash your fabrics and then use polyester? Or you donít pre-wash and use polyester and you donít see puckering?
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by PatriceJ View Post
i don't think cotton thread shrinks as much as cotton fabrics and batting do.
i won't use poly to piece but it's a purely personal preference.
(kinda like some people will never step on a crack or walk under a ladder. lol)

I read that poly being synthetic can melt with the iron while piecing and I had that issue...

even if cotton thread wonít shrink as much, poly doesnít shrink at all so I was wondering if you donít pre-wash (like a jelly roll is best not to do that) the moment you are done will it make it all wonky because the fabric did shrink but the thread didnít ...
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by AriMeij View Post
I read that poly being synthetic can melt with the iron while piecing and I had that issue...

even if cotton thread won’t shrink as much, poly doesn’t shrink at all so I was wondering if you don’t pre-wash (like a jelly roll is best not to do that) the moment you are done will it make it all wonky because the fabric did shrink but the thread didn’t ...
I used to use Aurifil cotton thread, but now I only use polyester thread - either Superior So FIne #50 or Connecting Threads Essential Pro poly. I usually pre-wash yardage, but never pre-wash pre-cuts.

I've never had a problem with thread shrinking or causing problems, with any of those thread/fabric combos. Let me assure you that it really is a non-issue. The only thing I will say is that no matter what brand you use, it's important to use a good quality thread because "bargain" thread can cause more headaches than it's worth.

I've also never had a problem with the poly threads I mentioned melting with a hot iron, even one set on the highest setting. Not saying it could never happen, just that it's never happened to me with those particular threads.

Last edited by SherylM; 07-22-2020 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:22 PM
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I have experienced poly threads melting. The iron had been dropped a few times, and I didn't realize that the heat setting had gotten broken so it was full heat all the time (the iron never stopped heating - it got really hot!). Not only did I melt thread, I had serious shrinkage from poly cotton fabric too. The iron got so hot it eventually melted through the cord at the base and shorted out, so I know it was getting way hotter than it was suppose to ever get.

During the malfunction time, it really put a great crease in cotton fabric with very little effort.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:30 PM
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Yikes! That's scary!
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