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Mettler 'Silk' Finished thread and other myths.

Mettler 'Silk' Finished thread and other myths.

Old 10-18-2014, 01:07 AM
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Default Mettler 'Silk' Finished thread and other myths.

I realised recently that some people believe that 'Mettler Silk Finished' thread, is actually finished with silk (it's 100% cotton and the 'silk' refers to a processing technique), probably because their friends or dealer told them it was.

It got me thinking about other commonly held beliefs, myths and old wives tales that have been passed on. Many of them involve thread, such as the polyester thread cutting through fabric myth and suchlike.

What other myths and old wives tales have you heard of? - not just about thread!
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:49 AM
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I never thought it was wrapped with "silk", just that it had a smoother finished compare to the limited threads available in the 90s. I have used it with my Bernina since that is what the dealership advised me at the time I purchase my Bernina. I have owned it for over 20 years and never had a thread problem ever.

I have seen polyester thread cut thru quilts made with cotton before the 80s. I have seen polyester batting migrate thru pressed open seams (I used white polyester: came thru my pressed open seams using solid back fabric YIKES!). Maybe I have been an active quilter longer than you have. Back in the days when I learned to quilt, there was no internet, no u-tube, no W&N, no Hobbs 80/20 batting, no acrylic rulers. Those were very dark days because we only had check gingham and calicos to use in our quilts. But that was an improvement over feed sacks (that WAS before my time).

But with the improvements over the decades, things have changed for the better. Invisible thread no longer feels like fishing line. These are Facts, not myths. They are history in the evolution of quilting. We are so lucky to have all the equipment, fabrics and patterns now a days. My Great Aunt Maude made her quilts with a treadle, pencil and scissors. I am thankful every day for my rotary cutter mat and rulers!

Last edited by ManiacQuilter2; 10-18-2014 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:37 AM
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Maniac, if you saw poly thread cut threw quilts it wasn't because the thread was poly, it was because the thread was stronger than the threads in the fabric. From Knitette's link:

Will polyester thread really tear the fabric in my quilt?

Thread will not tear through a fabric solely due to its fiber content. If a thread ever tears through a fabric, it is because it won the strength contest. In a battle of heavy use and high stress placed on a quilt, the strongest component will always win. It is not accurate to say that a polyester thread is stronger than cotton. I have a spool of thread on my desk labeled 100% cotton quilting thread. It is a very well known brand, widely available, and is one of the top selling machine quilting and piecing threads. It is twice as strong as a comparable polyester thread. Although it isn't labeled as such, it is coated with a glaze which strengthens the cotton fibers and makes the thread rather wiry. In a strength test, it beats a comparable size poly, rayon, and metallic every time. In a heavily used quilt, this stiff, wiry cotton thread could do more damage than a soft polyester thread. And it is 100% cotton.

The point is this: The traditions, myths, and rumors that polyester thread will tear the quilt are not true. Under extreme use, a strong polyester thread might, but so will a strong, glazed cotton thread.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:19 AM
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The polyester thread cutting through cotton thing is not really a myth. When it first became available, polyester thread really was too strong and would cut through cotton fabric over time. Nowadays polyester thread is made with similar tensile properties to cotton. A polyester thread will break when tugged between your hands in the same way a cotton thread will break when tugged between your hands.

Changing times, changing technologies.

The idea that nylon monofilament thread is like "fishing line" is in the same category of non-myths. The YLI nylon monofilament I have is more like baby hair than fishing line, it does *not* melt even when ironed with my Rowenta on high, and I suspect it does not yellow and get brittle over a short period of time (such as 10 years).

Last edited by Prism99; 10-18-2014 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:08 AM
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"It's not a real quilt unless it's hand quilted",
may not be considered a myth but it's the dumbest remark I have heard about quilting
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Old 10-18-2014, 04:13 PM
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OnebyOne - I unfortunately believed that back in the 80's! I hope polyester thread isn't going to wreck my quilts because I use it a lot. But I'm sure I'll be gone before that happens anyway...!
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:42 PM
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Older polyester threads were a thing to be avoided. I have sewn since the early 70s and when poly came out, it was miserable to sew with, especially to hand sew. It snarled, knotted, broke, and was just awful. Today's polyester threads are a whole different animal. The improvement is phenomenal and I have no problem adding them to my thread stash.

Re: a quilt isn't "real" unless it's hand quilted. I first became interested in quilts in those same early 70s and that myth was more prevalent then than now, I think. Again, the improvement of machines, tools and general know-how has brought a new attitude among many (most?) quilters today. Certainly hand quilting still has its place, but our foremothers would have used sewing machines in a heartbeat if they had them. I, for one, am very glad to be able to toss a quilt into a washing machine and not worry about its stitches coming apart what a blessing!
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:49 PM
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"ONLY a 1/4" seam is correct in quilts."
Actually I subscribe to the Mary Ellen Hopkins dictate of "personal private measurement" -- the position my needle is in closest to the 1/4" mark on MY sewing machine. The machines, Berninas 1031, 830, 807, have one needle position slightly less than 1/4" and one position slightly more than 1/4" (among others). I use them both for different purposes.
My quilts are fine and I've never been "fined" for one.

Jan in VA
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:01 PM
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I am a hand quilter. That said I don't believe only 'real' quilts are hand quilted. I enjoy both machine and hand work which is one reason I enjoy quilting. I machine piece and hand quilt to have the best of both of 'my' worlds.
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:34 AM
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One of the biggest misconceptions is Warm & Natural is 100% cotton. It isn't. It has a poly scrim.
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