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Thread: Types of thread

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    I see hand quilting threads, machine quilting threads, sewing threads. Can I interchange them or do I need to buy all three?


  2. #2
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    So. California
    I don't think you should use Hand Quilting thread on the sewing machine. I do mostly machine quilting, and I use regular thread, unless I'm feeling brave & then I've tried some of the rayon bright colors & some metallic threads. I guess it all comes down to what look you want & whether you are hand or machine quilting.


  3. #3
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central FL
    I do mainly machine piecing and hand quilting. The hand quilting thread often is stiffer to allow something that thick to fit through the teeeeeeny tiiiiiny eyes of hand quilting needles. The extra starch would not work for any kind of machine I've owned.

    Lately, I've been seeing beautiful machine quilting thread, colors and variations not available before, so I may have to find a quickie project just to try them out. The beautiful shiny rayons I've used for machine embroidery, and metallics for crafts. The special needles required are kinda pricey, but worth it for the troubles they avoid.

  4. #4
    Boo is offline
    Senior Member Boo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Alice, most hand quilting thread is coated to prevent tangles and ease of use. This thread is not recommended for use in a sewing machine.

    Regular thread, is usually 50wt. This is the common thread you will find made for sewing, but not all 50wt or regular thread is created equal. For garment construction, using a basic Coats and Clark sewing thread is fine, but I would caution against using in piecing blocks for a quilt. This type of thread has a polyester core, therefore, will be stronger than the 100% cotton fabric we use in quilt tops. While this may sound like a good thing, it can cause problems of fabric cutting or ripping along a seam line making it imposible to mend. It is a better idea to use a 100% cotton thread on a 100% cotton fabric. This thread will break with stress before your fabric does. A lesson I learned the hard way.

    Quilting by machine offers many options, from a thin invisible type thread to a bold thick 12wt. decorative thread. You may want something to bury itself if doing a stitch in the ditch method of quilting, something more bold for decorative quilting. The possibilities are endless. Some use a very thin 70wt. thread with a thin machine needle to do tight stippling. This allows the background to recede and elements of the block to pop forward on a quilt.

    I hope this is helpful in a small way. Once you become familar with the different types of thread, your decisions will be based on what gives you the desired effect. Thank you for your question.

  5. #5
    debcal1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    The owner of one of the thread companies was on The Quilt Show and explained that even knowing the thread weight (size 40, 50, etc.) isn't enough. You need to know the number of plies. For instance, a 3 ply 50 weight thread is 50% thicker than a 2 ply 50 weight thread. Good luck finding the info on the spool. It's rarely there. :x

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