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Thread: Thread

  1. #1

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    I have a question about thread. Is it really important that you use cotton thread when quilting? If so, what is the difference if you do use it. I'm a newbie and have a resource to get Polyester thread cheap. Cotton thread is so expensive. Also what does Mercerized mean and the numbers that look like this "Size 50/3". What is good and what is bad. What will happen if I use polyester instead of cotton on my quilt. Thanks for all your input.

    Also, where do you get those fancy signatures to your posts.

    libertykm

  2. #2
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    No, it isn't important at all unless someone has requested it. You can use polyester, cotton, metallic, monofilament... whatever suits the quilt and your personal preferences.

    50/3 means it's a 50wt 3 ply thread. You can also use any weight you prefer. I tend to prefer midweight threads. 100wt would be extremely thin, 18wt would be very chunky. I like 30-50wt threads best.

  3. #3
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Most of my machines aren't happy with polyester threads and I much prefer using cotton threads. Cotton threads don't melt when you press your quilt block pieces. Matching thread to fabric content seems to make for a better end product. Some polyester threads are just nasty and very linty. I've been quilting since 1988 and have learned lots about thread from personal experience.
    If you're worried about cost of thread, think of how much the fabric you bought to make your quilt cost.
    Essentials thread from Connecting Threads is good and doesn't cost much.
    http://www.connectingthreads.com/thr...did=HomeThread:600902

  4. #4
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I think the theory has always been that cotton thread is best for cotton fabric. Unless you are making an heirloom quilt like a Baltimore Alblum etc. I wouldn't worry about it.
    Use what ever materials or notions you can afford. Quilts are meant to be loved and cuddled. Cotton thread is not the only kind that will keep you warm.

  5. #5
    Super Member JAGSD's Avatar
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    Check out "Superior Threads", they have some good info on many different threads.

  6. #6
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libertykm
    .Also, where do you get those fancy signatures to your posts.

    libertykm
    Go to this link:
    http://www.mylivesignature.com/mls_wizard1_1.php
    and follow the signature wizard instructions.
    Once you get the signature you want, then choose 'want to use this signature'
    then choose the 'generate BB code', then 'generate code for my hand written signature'. When the code is created, highlight it and copy it to the signature spot in your profile. Follow these instructions exactly.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    lots of quilters use poly threads. i use poly, cotton, silk and wool and rayon threads. what ever my project needs is what it gets. the thread that has the color or properties i need. I seldom use cotton thread for machine quilting, it breaks too much, works fine for me for hand work, piecing and quilting. but in long-arm machines polyester is used most often, because of the speed of the machines, it does not break like cotton thread.
    the size...40-50 wt is the norm for piecing, the higher the number the finer the thread. most regular sewing thread is about 40 wt...my silk threads are 100 wt...very fine but very strong. i have some 12 wt. verigated my nephew ordered one time by mistake...boy it is thick!

  8. #8
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    Regarding Mercerised cotton you find some information here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercerised_cotton

  9. #9
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    Personally, I like to use serger thread (Maxilock). It's thin, seems to be plenty strong and it's inexpensive. Sometimes I will use embroidery thread or monofiliment for quilting. Just depends on the look I want.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the info.

  11. #11
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    I was always told that polyester thread is much stronger than cotton, & if you use it on a cotton quilt, it will eventually tear the fabric. I am certainly no expert here. I've always used cotton thread because I was told it was better; but I think you could use either one.
    As far as mercerized, there's a good definition on wikipedia about what it means. Basically, the thread is soaked in chemicals to make the fiber swell which makes it easier to dye & softer. The process was discovered by John Mercer in 1844 & has been improved since then.

  12. #12
    QuiltingLee's Avatar
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    lets see if my sig works ;)

  13. #13
    QuiltingLee's Avatar
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    nope didnt work :(

  14. #14
    QuiltingLee's Avatar
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    lets see now

  15. #15
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    I use plain old Coat's and Clark for most of my sewing/quilting. Never had a problem. Works for me! :D

  16. #16
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Many of the professional quilters are using polyester to piece as well as to quilt :wink:
    I think the old polyester thread caused a lot of problems, but the new ones are just fine now :D:D:D

  17. #17
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I use cotton to piece, and try to use all cotton when quilting baby quilts, I would hate for a piece of non cotton thread to wrapped around a little finger or toe.

    JMHO

  18. #18
    Senior Member rdupuis's Avatar
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    Thank you for the address

  19. #19
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    I use Aurifil cotton and cotton Masterpiece by Alex Anderson and polyester So Fine by John Flynn mostly. So Fine is so wonderfully great for piecing. I understand that Linda McCuen (sp?) used So Fine for quilting the $100,000 winning quilt "Bella" she did several years ago. Even professional quilters don't agree on what type to use, so experiment and see what YOU like. Just DON'T use those 10/$1 threads you find in discount stores. They are too inconsistent in the thickness and produce so much lint that they are TERRIBLE for your machine's tension discs. I can't tell you how many times a machine has come in for repairs in the shop I worked in, just to have it be the cheap thread that was causing the problem.

  20. #20
    Senior Member quiltbuddy's Avatar
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    The theory is that polyester is stronger than cotton and eventually cut your fabric right on the seam. I have seen this happen.

  21. #21
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    when I am all alone in the house, no t.v. on. cat and dog well fed and not sitting on my lap...I am going to try to get my signature on.... thanks for the help.

    jacie

  22. #22

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    I had a bad experience lately with poly thread. I was making a lap quilt and thought I was doing a great job with corners, etc., and then noticed that my thread was melting when I ironed it! The lady at the store told me that they used this quilt exclusively for piecing and long rm quilting. Needless to say - they won't be getting any of my quilts to quilt!

  23. #23
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpspeedy
    I think the theory has always been that cotton thread is best for cotton fabric. Unless you are making an heirloom quilt like a Baltimore Alblum etc. I wouldn't worry about it.
    Use what ever materials or notions you can afford. Quilts are meant to be loved and cuddled. Cotton thread is not the only kind that will keep you warm.
    TRUE! I did read somewhere that polyester thread is stronger than cotton and the issue is that you don't want your thread stronger than the fabric it is sewn into, since quilts are subjected to washing, the theory is that the cotton top will wear out before the thread, or that the thread will cut the cotton quilt top. :-)

  24. #24
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    Mercertised thread is cotton thread spun at a high rate of speed and it is quite shinny - mercertized cotton fabric is also spun at a high rate of speed and is good for dying fabric most batiks are mercertized cotton - it absobes dyes much more than regular cotton and its brighter and more intense color..It is just spun more and at a high rate of speed... but it is cotton...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGSD
    Check out "Superior Threads", they have some good info on many different threads.
    http://www.superiorthreads.com
    Bob also often has sample spools at reduced prices, giving you a chance to try them out.
    I use whatever thread is close at hand even mixing bobbin and top - poly and cotton.
    Makes no difference whatsoever.

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