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Quilting Thread VS Sewing Thread: The Epic Sewing Battle

​In the world of sewing, thread choice ​is one the most important ​decisions that you’ll make along the way. ​While there are many different kinds of threads to choose from, the battle always seems to narrow down to quilting thread ​vs sewing thread.

It can be a difficult choice when you’re a novice and you can’t differentiate between spools of thread that look pretty much identical. Both quilting thread and sewing thread play a vital role in ​these types of projects, whether you’re sewing by hand or using a machine.

Undoubtedly, these different types of thread have their differences. So, we’ve ​staged our own quilting thread vs sewing thread comparison based on their features to help you make your choice wisely.

Features of Quilting Thread

Quilting thread can be of different materials and finishes. ​It can be used for both hand quilting and machine quilting effectively. Some of the important features of quilting thread are;

Quilting thread is Mercerized

Quilting threads are mercerized to impart hardness and durability when it comes to colored fabrics.

This process adds a coating to the yarn​, and the coating increases the luster of the thread, making it harder and stronger.

The thread also acquires mildew resistance. Dyeing is simple and effective with this thread, and it can display a wide range of vibrant colors.

Features a Gassed Finish

A gassed finish utilizes a high amount of heat to minimize lint in the thread. It also minimizes fuzz, which is produced by the quilting thread.

There is less damage compared to other threads due to this gassed finish. The finish ​offered by quilting thread is smooth and high quality.

Glazed for Hand Quilting

Quilting thread ​is usually glazed, which can be especially beneficial when it comes to hand quilting. It’s not really appropriate for machine quilting due to the higher chances of the glazed finish rubbing off.

The glazed quilting threads are coated with resin, wax, or starch. It’s similar to polishing in that it can also add a luster to the thread.

Offers a Secure Hold

​Quilting thread provides a secure hold for grasping the entire quilt without any loose ends. Occasional indents are created with this type of thread so that the quilt stays firm and strong.

Quilting threads blend and contrast within the surface design of the fabrics adding a rich, vibrant color scheme.

This helps to focus attention on the thread in the fabric designs, and it imparts an attractive appearance.

Thread Weight

​Quilting thread has a heavier weight in comparison to other threads. The advantage of having such a heavier thread, like a 40 weight thread, is that secured holds can be made ​while you are quilting.

In this case, if you’re hand quilting the heavier thread weight might not work quite as well. However, it’s perfect for machine quilting.


Quilting threads are made from natural fibers such as wool, silk, cotton, and even flax. But, synthetic fibers work well for them too. Polyester, metallic, nylon, etc. synthetic fibers produce great quilting threads as well.

Cotton and metallic threads are the best choices when it comes to machine quilting. For hand quilting, cotton, wool, and even silk fibers can work well.

Features of Sewing Thread

Sewing thread is a broader term for a group of various kinds of threads. Such diverse threads are usually collectively called sewing threads as they are used for sewing purposes rather than quilting. They come with features like –

Types of Sewing Thread

Sewing threads vary from cotton threads to embroidery threads and so on. Cotton threads serve all purposes and come with individual thread weights.

Some may be embroidery threads and appear stranded. Upholstery threads are required for more complex and intricate finishes.

Metallic threads are used for decorating and embellishment. Other types can be classified according to materials like elastic threads, nylon threads, rayon threads, and silk threads. All these different types of threads collectively form sewing threads.

Sewing Thread Weight

For general sewing, usually, sewing threads of 50/60 weight thread work perfectly well. This weight can also vary according to the fabric material.

Heavy-Duty Sewing thread

Sewing threads are all-purpose threads mostly, so they come with the heavy-duty feature.

These threads can withstand high stress and tension. They are made with distinct finishes based on their sewing spectrum.

Most of these threads are water-resistant as well as UV resistant. They are also strong and rigid to withstand pressure to frequent wear and tear.

Offers Good Elasticity

These threads are mostly elastic. This elasticity is important for shirring. Shirring refers to using a decorative cloth by drawing up the material along multiple parallel lines of stitching.

It is done by winding the sewing thread to the bobbin and shrinking the shirring. Due to elasticity, the sewing thread tightens around the fabric and appears more assembled.

Quilting Thread Vs Sewing Thread: Which One Is Better?

Although both quilting threads and sewing threads have their respective characteristics, it is always preferable to go for the thread that meets your requirement.

Quilting threads are perfect for hand and machine quilting since they are mercerized, gassed, and even coated.

These features are important for quilting as it requires a better hold and tighter ends. Sewing threads may not always work for quilting since they lack gassed and mercerized attributes.

On the other hand, sewing threads are tensile and heavy-duty in nature. They are mostly prepared to withstand any kind of pressure.

So, they are perfect for intricate embroideries, embellishments, or even sewing tough fabrics like camping cloths and canvas.

So, you can easily make your choice by figuring out which thread will best serve your purpose.

​Quilting Thread vs Sewing Thread: The Conclusion

Wrapping it up, it can be concluded that both quilting threads and sewing threads are individually effective. But each thread works better in different working areas.

So, before purchasing, optimum information should be gained regarding each thread.

Our detailed feature analysis on quilting thread vs sewing thread should come useful in helping you make your ideal choice.

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