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Thread: Thread Weights-HELP!!!

  1. #1
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    Thread Weights-HELP!!!

    I'm sure this has probably been discussed on here, but, couldn't find the answers I am looking for. What is a good weight of thread to use for machine piecing and FMQ? Also, which will hold up longer to washings polyester or all cotton? And for the cottons, should it be plain or mercerized? Lastly, how are thread weights graded? Is 30 thicker in diamater or 50? I hope you can understand this. I'm so confused and hope I haven't totally confused you. I want to spend my money wisely and not waste it on alot of thread that I'm not going to use. I need you help in the worst way. Or do I really need a shrink? HEE HEE!!!
    Vonda-Texas MiMi of 4 Beautiful Grandbabies

  2. #2
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Here's a good explanation on thread weights.
    http://quiltcetera.wordpress.com/201...thread-weight/

    I use mostly Essential Threads from Connecting Threads. It's of good quality and at
    reasonable price. If you've never used it, give it a try.

  3. #3
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vondae View Post
    I'm sure this has probably been discussed on here, but, couldn't find the answers I am looking for. What is a good weight of thread to use for machine piecing and FMQ? Also, which will hold up longer to washings polyester or all cotton? And for the cottons, should it be plain or mercerized? Lastly, how are thread weights graded? Is 30 thicker in diamater or 50? I hope you can understand this. I'm so confused and hope I haven't totally confused you. I want to spend my money wisely and not waste it on alot of thread that I'm not going to use. I need you help in the worst way. Or do I really need a shrink? HEE HEE!!!
    You want to use a 50 weight thread for piecing. Cotton will hold up just fine to repeated washing. Basically the bigger the number the smaller the thread. The number means what distance it takes for the thread to equal one pound. I think it's how many miles of thread it takes to weigh one pound so the thinner a thread is the more miles it takes for it to equal a pound.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy View Post
    I use mostly Essential Threads from Connecting Threads. It's of good quality and at
    reasonable price. If you've never used it, give it a try.
    i love this thread also
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I've been playing with thread the last few nights. My supplier of Aurifil is going out of business so I ordered a bunch of thread including weights I haven't yet used (28wt and 12wt).

    As Scissor Queen mentioned - the smaller the number, the heavier the thread. 12wt is a pretty thick thread that I would only consider using for quilting when I want the quilting to be very noticable. Ditto for the 28wt. I'm playing with different bobbin thread weights and tensions to see what I like best for these two thread weights.

    For piecing, I generally stick to 50wt or 60wt if it's a particularly thin/fine fabric (some batics for example).

    Generally when I quilt with 50wt I will use a 60wt in the bobbin. I

    I've tried some poly threads and I personally don't like them. I don't like the way they behave, I don't like the way they look, and I don't like the way they way feel. This is just personal preference though - there is no reason in the world you can't use poly threads to piece or quilt cotton - and lots of people swear by Superior Threads "Bottom Line" thread for the bobbin and I believe that's a cotton/poly blend (I think it's a 60wt).

    Seriously ... it's best to buy (or borrow if you can!) a smorgasbord of threads and try them out in different applications (on test pieces - NOT on your quilt). Make notes. I keep sticky labels in my thread box with notes on the tension I used, the bobbin thread I used with it, the needle I used, and how it all behaved with each other. This way if I decide that a 12wt would be perfect I know how to make it work.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy View Post
    Here's a good explanation on thread weights.
    http://quiltcetera.wordpress.com/201...thread-weight/

    I use mostly Essential Threads from Connecting Threads. It's of good quality and at
    reasonable price. If you've never used it, give it a try.
    FYI Essential Cotton from Connecting Threads is $2.49 for 1200 yards. It is 50/3 double mercerized extra long staple cotton thread.

    I also use this thread. My Bernina 1530 loves it.

  7. #7
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    I was curious about what mercerized cotton is so I looked it up.

    Here's the link:

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

  8. #8
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    My favorite is 40 wt. I love to machine applique and love using this thread. Try this to show the difference. Do 2 zigzags with the same color of thread, one in 50 wt and one in 40 wt and compare the difference. It makes a big difference in the looks. I prefer Signature 40 wt cotton. Do experience with different threads.

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    visit Superior Threads web site- they have free charts you can print off that tell you all the differences in threads/needles and what to use for what-
    50wt is finer than 30 wt-
    12 wt is almost a string- 100 wt is very fine- usually a silk thread
    many people use 40-50 wt threads for most of their sewing needs.
    cotton vs poly is kind of a personal choice- along with what you are doing-
    cotton thread doesn't work so well with long-arm machines- the machine goes too fast and the thread breaks alot-
    aurifil is a popular thread by many quilters.
    but visit the site and learn the differences in threads and needles- then choose what works for you
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I concur with the above poster who recommended Superior Thread's website - there is GOBS of information about thread there.

    http://www.superiorthreads.com/education/

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    I can't thank you all enough for all the help, information and links. This was exactly what I was needing. I will continue to follow to see what other words of wisdom others may have. I will take any suggestions or help I can get. Ya'll are great!!!
    Vonda-Texas MiMi of 4 Beautiful Grandbabies

  12. #12
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    The smaller the thread number the thicker it is ie (thicker 12-60thinner)
    on the thread it will say the size 30/3 the smaller number is the ply(how many fibers are wrapped together) so the higher number, the stronger the thread
    Hope this helps

    If I were you I would get a few threads of different sizes to practice your FMQ to see which size you prefer, some stand out more than others

  13. #13
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I have just started using GLIDE Thread and it is incredible. Priced right, too! They have Cairo which is a long staple cotton, so close to King Tut, I can't see the difference. They have wonderful pre-wound bobbins L & M's. Someone on The Quilt Show was talking about it and I went looking and found it.
    [email protected]

  14. #14
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    I too go with connecting threads, just bought a bunch of thread sets for 50% off, great deal. I don't pay attention to what the weight is unless I am getting a bigger size for top stitching and I need a bigger needle.
    groovey

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I generally use the 50 weight for both piecing and quilting. The big difference is the color. For me piecing uses neutrals and quilting uses color. While I do agree that Connecting Thread is a bit linty, my machine likes it and I usually get it on sale) For variegated quilting thread I get Star thread which is produced by Coats and Clark. We did use assorted weights in the quilting class - but my thread stash is huge and before I invest in different threads (unless it is for a special project) I use what I have.
    Martina
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