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-   -   Cotton vs. Polyester thread and shrinkage (https://www.quiltingboard.com/machine-embroidery-f28/cotton-vs-polyester-thread-shrinkage-t311797.html)

AriMeij 07-17-2020 08:29 AM

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

juliasb 07-17-2020 09:10 AM

I use a 50 wt. polyester most of the time ant have great results.

maryb119 07-17-2020 09:41 AM

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.

PatriceJ 07-17-2020 12:38 PM

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)

Stitchnripper 07-18-2020 02:12 PM

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.

AriMeij 07-18-2020 08:29 PM


Originally Posted by juliasb (Post 8402520)
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?

AriMeij 07-18-2020 08:32 PM


Originally Posted by PatriceJ (Post 8402576)
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 ...

SherylM 07-22-2020 09:02 AM


Originally Posted by AriMeij (Post 8402996)
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.

Macybaby 07-23-2020 12:22 PM

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.

SherylM 07-23-2020 12:30 PM

Yikes! That's scary! https://cdn.quiltingboard.com/images/smilies/eek.png


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