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Thread: cotton thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    I read on a thread website that "Cotton threads will ...shrink in the wash,
    so treat them as you would cotton fabrics." With cotton fabrics, I
    preshrink them, but I don't see any way to preshrink cotton thread. If I
    use it in a quilt for which all the fabrics have been preshrunk, will it
    shrink and distort the quilt when it is washed?

  2. #2
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I have had that happen in one quilt of the hundreds that I have made. It turned out to be my favorite quilt once that happened, because it gave the quilt a great old fashion look. I must emphasize that it happened once, when I had no clue what I was doing, and I used cheap thread. Now that I use better quality threads that never happens.

    Maria

  3. #3
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    Cotton thread can shrink. It depends on the quality of the thread. If you have a thread made with LONG STAPLE cotton, it should not shrink. If the thread is lower quality then shrinkage is inevitable

  4. #4
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    Does mercerized mean that it won't shrink? I couldn't find any evidence that it means that.

  5. #5
    Super Member SharonC's Avatar
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    I have a quick questions. I'm using YLI cotton thread...is this one of the ones that will/might shrink. I don't remember if it was expensive or not.

  6. #6
    k3n
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    YLI is good quality long staple thread - I've used it a lot, as well as Aurifil and never had any trouble with either! :D

  7. #7
    Super Member SharonC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    YLI is good quality long staple thread - I've used it a lot, as well as Aurifil and never had any trouble with either! :D
    Thanks for the quick reply...I was starting to panic. I've been doing EPP and it's been a LOT of sewing and I'd just hate for it to be for nothing. :lol: :lol: :lol: Phew!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    Do you think it would be safer to use a poly/cotton thread for piecing just to make sure there's no shrinkage?

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carol45
    Does mercerized mean that it won't shrink? I couldn't find any evidence that it means that.
    Mercerized means it has been run thru a flame at high speed to burn off any lint and fiber ends.

  10. #10
    k3n
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    No probs Sharon - I've used miles of the stuff for EPP and the quilt (my daughter's!) is still in one piece after umpteen washes! I also use it to machine piece and as a bobbin thread when quilting. :D

    Re poly/cotton, I think this is really down to personal preference. I know a lot of quilters love to use some of the speciality threads which are poly. Personally, if I'm using cotton fabric (and I nearly always do!) I prefer to use cotton thread. I believe there will be a 'tension' between the different materials otherwise and the stitching may develop stress points. Plus, I just 'like' working with natural materials wherever possible, although I occasionally use poly wadding for wall hangings, I only use cotton for quilts. JMHO! :D

  11. #11
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I usually use a cotton thread and haven't had any problems.

  12. #12
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    What is your favorite thread to use?

  13. #13
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    I only use cotton thread for piecing & machine quilting ... I've never had a problem w shrinking

    I've used Gutermann, Mettler, YLI, Aurifil, Essentials (by Connecting Threads) & the newer Coats cotton. Probably some others too but can't think of them right now

    A good quality mercerized long-staple thread should not give you any problems :)

  14. #14
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carol45
    Do you think it would be safer to use a poly/cotton thread for piecing just to make sure there's no shrinkage?
    I was told to always match your thread to your fabric - e.g. 100% cotton fabric, use 100% cotton thread. The reasoning is that this way they wear the same over the life of the quilt. Otherwise... the world ends or something :)

  15. #15
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    Yes, cotton shrinks, andthat goes for cotton batting as well as cotton fabric and cotton thread. Usually they all shrink nicely together, and not by very much. Batting manufacturers put the percentage of shrinkage on their labels-- usually 2-5%.

    I've been making quilts since 1969 and I've made hundreds and hundreds of quilts. They've all been quilted with cotton thread, and I've never had a problem. Most were hand quilted, many were machine quilted.

    I use miles and miles of cotton thread. I've been a longarm quilter for the last 5 years, and I buy 6000 yds of a color at a time, 108 colors in stock at all times. I'm a threadaholic.

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