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Thread: Pros/Cons of using Polyester thread to quilt?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Juztme's Avatar
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    Pros/Cons of using Polyester thread to quilt?

    I have been using cotton thread to quilt with. I started looking at Superior Threads varigated threads and they are polyester. Can anyone give me some information about using polyester vs cotton for quilting?!! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    The only con I can think of is that high heat from an iron can melt it and break the stitching. Most people don't iron or press finished quilts, so that's not a problem. But, for piecing that can be an issue.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I've used a hot iron on polyester thread and it has never melted on me. I've also quilted with polyester thread (Glide), washed the quilt in hot water and dried in a hot laundromat dryer without any hint of melting. I do think that, for piecing, you want to test polyester thread with an iron before using it. Lately I have been using a 60wt polyester thread in the bobbin for piecing, but before using it I tried to melt some strands of it with my iron on its hottest setting and was not able to.

    Glide is my favorite thread for quilting on my midarm frame setup. Before I got the frame, my thread of preference for quilting on my domestic machine was Aurifil 50wt 2-ply cotton. I think I would like Glide for my domestic machine also, but have had no occasion to try it. (Aurifil in both top and bobbin is still my all-time favorite thread for piecing.)

    The biggest advantage I have seen to using polyester thread is that there is ***so*** much less lint than with cotton thread. Aurifil is the only cotton thread I have used that creates very little lint, but it's still a little more than polyester thread produces. Most poly threads have a little bit of shine to them (Glide does, anyway) and I like that; it brightens up the quilt in a very subtle way.
    Last edited by Prism99; 06-17-2013 at 10:20 PM.

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    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    There seem two be two camps in the quilting world - cotton thread only camp, and the rest of us camp. I am in the second one. In my opinion, there are no rules because they impede creativity. Go poly! By the way, I recently discovered Glide and it was love at first stitch.

  5. #5
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Thread is a personal quilter's preference. Use the thread you and your machine like and the thread you can afford. You could invest a small fortune in thread and I haven't found it necessary. I save my special threads for special projects and use polyester thread on all of my everyday and frequent wash quilts. I have not had polyester thread melt, break or cut through quilting fabric as some quilting rumours have reported. I had a friend give me a whole bag of polyester thread that she was sure wouldn't work for her quilting and I've been happily using it ever since.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  6. #6
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I love love love polyester for quilting...but I learned to quilt from a real cotton purist! I generally piece with cotton because of that ironing issue and also because nobody really knows for sure if over time polyester will be harder on your quilt seams...but for quilting, I almost exclusively use polyester. No lint and it comes in very fine or thick weights so you can create different effects and textures. The only real con in my mind is that polyester is a synthetic fiber...so in 80 years your natural cotton will fade but the polyester thread will not. If that is a concern to you, you might want to stick with cotton. I'm not going to be alive in 80 years so I'm quilting my heart out NOW without concern!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Here is an excellent article about thread: http://www.superiorthreads.com/newsletters/642/
    Got fabric?

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    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I have gone to a presentation by a representative of the YSL brand of thread. It was at the quilt guild so she knew we were quilters. Her advice was to test the thread for results in your machine and use whatever strikes your creative fancy without regard to what it is made of.
    Alyce

  9. #9
    Super Member klgls's Avatar
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    I use polyster thread a lot - I did have an iron that got super hot and had to watch so I wouldn't melt the thread (which I did a couple times). Got rid of the iron and kept the thread.

  10. #10
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    I use what ever thread strikes my fancy for the project and have good results with both poly and cotton. The only melting problems has been with the clear threads and high heat in commercial dryers. Made my nephew a quilt while he was in St. Jude and the high heat of the dryer melted the clear thread (don't use it anymore) I quilted the finished quilt with.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Juztme's Avatar
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    Wow! This is some really great information! Thanks everyone. I am certainly not affraid to use polyester thread now! Wish I had used poly when I quilted with white cotton, cuz I think the thread shrunk!

  12. #12
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I'd never ever considered that poly thread would melt. I've used it a lot and never worried about it.

    Now that special clear thread--not sure what that's made out of--that might melt.

    I've not had any problems at all with using poly thread. Go for it!

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    The clear thread is sometimes nylon, which can melt under certain circumstances depending on the brand. I have used YLI nylon monofilament with absolutely no problems, but don't have a sample handy to test with an iron. My experience has been that there are only a couple of good brands of nylon clear thread, and YLI is one of them. Other brands have problems. A lot of people use polyester clear thread now instead of nylon monofilament, but I have found that the polyester is not as invisible as my YLI nylon monofilament.

  14. #14
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Superiorthreads.com has tons of info about anything thread!

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    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
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    I use it all the time for piecing and hand quilting.
    No problems.
    I also use whatever it laying around the machine.
    J J (jbj137)

    I am a G.R.I.T.
    G = girl R =raised I = in T = the S = South

  16. #16
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    I piece and quilt with Gutermann Poly thread and never a problem here. Was actually recommended to me by my Janome dealer.

  17. #17
    Super Member
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    I use cotton wrapped polyester thread. No problems with ironing.

  18. #18
    Senior Member snow's Avatar
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    I use Poly thread to quilt and cotton to piced with just because I have some bubt when my cotton thread runs out going to all poly thread.
    Bring Your Conscious awareness to the source of loving and Caring

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    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by justflyingin View Post
    I'd never ever considered that poly thread would melt. I've used it a lot and never worried about it.

    Now that special clear thread--not sure what that's made out of--that might melt.

    I've not had any problems at all with using poly thread. Go for it!
    The special clear thread..yep, it does melt. At least the stuff I used. We used to call it "invisible thread." Yep, it sure was, especially after it met a hot iron!
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  20. #20
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    I have struggled with cotton thread breaking when FMQ with my Bernina 820 on my Bernina frame. With the information I have read here about Superior threads and a long arm quilting friend, I bought Omni thread which is poly thread. I have done one quilt with it. I had only one break and hardly any lint. I'm sold!

  21. #21
    Junior Member Retiredandquilting's Avatar
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    I use polyester to piece and Connecting Threads cotton thread to quilt. My machine loves cotton thread!
    Last edited by Retiredandquilting; 06-19-2013 at 03:31 AM. Reason: forgot two words!
    Sue In Bloomfield, NY

  22. #22
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I use Coats & Clark all purpose, it's 100% polyester covered polyester, never had any issues with it.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Here is an excellent article about thread: http://www.superiorthreads.com/newsletters/642/
    Here is the specific article re: the polyester thread myth.
    http://www.superiorthreads.com/educa...dition-or-myth

    Personally, I use what matches or enhances my fabric. I just finished quilting w/cotton serger thread.
    "Proud Parent of an American Airman"

  24. #24
    Senior Member bigredharley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    There seem two be two camps in the quilting world - cotton thread only camp, and the rest of us camp. I am in the second one. In my opinion, there are no rules because they impede creativity. Go poly! By the way, I recently discovered Glide and it was love at first stitch.

    Uh oh, I hear the sirens for the quilt police LOL. I'm with you, I use what I like.
    ​Nancy

  25. #25
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    The only con I can think of is that high heat from an iron can melt it and break the stitching. Most people don't iron or press finished quilts, so that's not a problem. But, for piecing that can be an issue.
    You are thinking of the old nylon thread. Polyester thread should not melt.
    It is also a myth that poly thread tears the cotton fabric.

    If your machine likes it, there is no reason not to use it (imho).
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

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