types-of-thread-for-sewing

What are the Different Types of Thread for Sewing and When to Use Them

Sewing, something a lot of mothers like us want to learn but are overwhelmed by looking at the wide variety of threads that are available on the market. Well, have no fear because I did some digging on the types of threads available.

And I was amazed by all the types of threads that we need. Below, will state the types of threads and everything you will have to know about them.

Consider the Weight of the Thread

Down below I will list the weight of threads which is offered by some popular manufacturer. It’s not like you are going to need all of these for sewing, just pick the one that you find useful.

  • 12wgt: If you are using threads from the Mako range then you would be in for a treat, as this is the thickest thread offered by the company. Sashiko and Red Work sticker are the best to use this product on.
  • 28wgt: Looking for something which can withstand the stress of hand quilting? Then look no further, this is the right weight to use. Threads of this weight don't need to be glazed or waxed to stand the stress. Convenient, isn't it?
  • 40wgt: Using a machine for your work? You would be happy to know this weight of thread is the best to work with if you are using one.
  • 50wgt: Works great with the machine. Pick this one if you are willing to show off your quilting stitches to everyone.
  • 80wgt: This is the maximum weight which you will need if you are quilting. The weight of the thread is achieved by using fine Egyptian Cotton.

Consider the Method of Construction of the Threads

Knowing the construction of your threads are essential, as this will determine the quality of the product that you are sewing. Conventional threads are either made from natural fiber or synthetic fiber.

Let’s go for the details now.

  • Spun Threads

This kind of threads are made using both natural and synthetic fibers. If the manufacturers are making one using a natural fiber then they will use cotton, or else, they will use polyester staple fiber. They fiber goes through a machine which spins them and twists them to make single yarns.

  • Bonded Threads

Planning to sew a blanket or a jacket? Use this construction of thread. This construction of thread is designed to withstand heavy duty sewing. The fibers are strengthened by using resin. The material is applied to coat the outside of the fiber.

  • Monofilament Threads

If you are planning to get this construction of the thread, then be sure to get the one made using polyester. You can also find a nylon variation but try to avoid buying it as its polyester counterpart is much better.

  • Textured Threads

If you want to get something similar to wool but not wool then this is the construction to go for. Nylon or polyester is made given wool like feel which is achieved by using machines. The fiber will stretch and will feel fuzzy once you touch it.

  • Corespun Threads

Similar to spun threads. This kind of construction is best for quilting.

Don’t Forget Threads Processing 

This is important. Knowing about how the thread that you are buying can be a game changer while sewing. All the threads go through some common processing like twisting, lubricating, etc.

I won't talk about those conventional process. What I will let you know is about the processing which is not so common for all the kinds of threads available.

  • Mercerized 

The fibers are dipped in a solution of caustic, and it stays that way for a while. After a certain period, the fibers are taken out. This process causes the fiber of the thread to swell.

The swelling of threads allows the dye which is being used to color the threads penetrate the layers of the fiber and sink within the fibers. This makes the color last for an extended period and the color is also more vibrant upon completion of the product.

Cotton Threads are always made using this process. This does all the things listed above and also increases the strength of the cotton fibers.

  • Gassed 

Planning to make something which is smooth in texture? Then you should probably get threads which are gassed. Gassing is achieved by passing threads through a flame for a brief period as the threads are only coming in contact with the fire for a short while the thread remains unharmed.

However, what gets burned are the most extended piece of lint. This causes the fiber to be a lot a less fuzzy compared to a thread which has not been gassed. You can easily differentiate between a gassed and non-gassed thread.

  • Glazed 

If you are working on something that requires your hands to do the stitching, then this is the best-processed thread to work with. Using a glazed thread on a machine as the coating used on top of the threads will rub off while being used by the machine.

Glazed threads have a nice luster which is achieved by applying a coating of wax, resin or starch which is then polished.

Know the Types of Threads Available

Know that I have informed you about the weights, construction, and the processing of the threads, let’s move on to the threads themselves.

1.Silk Threads 

Want something high-end which feels lovely on your skin? Opt for this thread as this is often known as premium threads and many will only use it for embroidery work, which is a shame.

If you are working on something which is made off silk, make sure you use silk threads as this will work flawlessly on the fabric. Wool also receives the threads just fine and the result looks nice.

Down below I will list all the silk threads which are available on the market.

  • Silk Floss

Better shorten your nails if you are planning to work with this excellent thread. Although this thread is strong, the nails might damage the delegate thread. Manufactured and shipped from Japan, this comes untwisted.

  • Twisted Silk

This is good for embroidery work; The thread is made by twisting several silk threads into one solid one. If you want to add fine texture to your work, then you can use the thread as it is, or you may untwist the tread and get several smaller threads. The choice is yours.

  • Stranded Silk

Want to add some sparkles to your work? Use strand silk. Like other silk threads, this too is used in embroideries, to give the work a sparkling finish.

  • Silk Ribbon

Lastly in the lineup is the silk ribbon. This is a price of art itself, just imagine how beautiful it looks when used to make decorative projects. Anything that you are planning to use for decoration can be made using these ribbons.

Let me tell you a bonus item that I made in the past using the silk ribbon. That item is a hair accessory. Try making one and thank me later.

2.Wool Threads

Second in line is the wool threads. These threads are best if you are going to do some stitching on your blanket or if you are planning to do some embroidery work.

This is kind is a heavy-duty thread, so don’t expect a smooth finish once you are done with your work, what you can expect is a strong finish.

Let’s talk about the kinds of wool threads available. There are three kinds of wool threads. They are:

  • Persian Wool

This kind of wool is usually made thick and is made by joining three separate strands together.If the project that you are planning to work on requires a thin strand, you can take apart the thick strand and use on of the strand from the three that are used to make the strand.

  • Tapestry Wool

The kind of wool is not thick nor is it thin either. Unlike Persian wool, you cannot take apart the strand to make it thin if you desire it to be.

  • Crewel Wool

Planning on working on a Crewel embroidery? You will need to use Crewel threads to make the project.

This is the finest woolen thread that you can find on the market, although you cannot find thick crewel wool on the market, what you can do is twist multiple threads together and make it into one single thread.

3.Heavy Duty Threads

The purpose of the thread is exactly what the name suggests. You would want to use this for stitches on heavy fabrics to give the stitches added strength.

The threads are available in size 40 and the materials used to make the thread can range from polyester to cotton-wrapped.

4.Rayon Threads

If you want your stitches to stay flush with the surface, then this is the best kind of thread to use. Using other threads might make the stitch stand out on the surface of the fabric.

5.Nylon Threads 

If you are using fabrics which are light to medium weight, then use this nylon thread. The size available for the thread is "A." In short, this is a fine thread to use on your fabrics.

6.Machine Threads 

Using this thread for quilting is the worst idea that you can have. This thread is specifically designed for the machine. There are two types of Machine Threads, They are:

  • Bobbin Threads

This being one of the most affordable thread which can be used in the machine is quite popular among the general public. One can take on a large range of projects using this thread; those projects range from bobbin to stitching jackets.

  • Variegated Thread

For projects that require vibrant color, this is the idea thread to use. Threads can be found in multiple colors and the best part is that color is consistent throughout the thread.

7.Metallic Thread

The thread is available in three colors. Those colors are gold, silver, and copper. Gold work embroidery is done best using this thread. Metallic threads are available in two variations. They are:

  • Purl Threads:The thread is usually hollow.
  • Japanese Threads:Expensive but worth it. This is one of the fines metallic thread that you can find on the market.

8.Cotton Threads 

Cotton threads are probably the most used threads in the industry and households. They can be found almost everywhere and at any given time. Cotton threads are not known for its strength. However, what it is known for is its appearance.

There are many kinds of cotton threads which fall under the category. Will talk about them in details below.

  • All-Purpose Cotton

If you are working on a project which is light or medium then this is the right thread to use for the stitches. The thread can also be used for linen and on rayon fabrics.

  • Stranded Cotton

They are a mix of six strands of cotton threads which are woven together in a loss manner. You can take the strands apart to use individually if you want but that won’t be the best thing to do.

Using the stranded cotton as it is the best way to get the most beautiful outcome from your work.

  • CotonPerlè

By the name you can already guess that it is a French thread. If you are planning to produce neat sheen in embroidery than this is the best thread for you. Be sure not to take this thread apart, doing so will destroy the threads.

  • Cotton á broader

Another thread which is manufactured by the French. Pick this thread if you want something which is very smooth and can be found in different weights.

9.Quilting Threads

This is 100% cotton which is why it is preferred by many. The thread is easy to use and maneuver.

10.Flower Thread

Want to make something from the old times? This would be the thread of choice then. If you are using a fabric with a small count, then you will be able to use this thread with ease. The matte sheen and the soft surface makes it ideal for use.

11.Tatting Threads

This is a very firm and smooth thread which is good for stitching. Tatting requires a very specific kind of thread which is why tatting threads are made to meet those specifications.

12.Polyester Threads

Saved the best of the last. This is the strongest and the most reliable thread that you can find in any store. The thread is used for both hand and machine sewing and the best part is it comes in size 50 which is an all-purpose weight.

The thread looks glossy; this is because of the wax of silicon finish which is given to the thread to make it slide to fiber with ease.

There are two kinds of polyester threads that are available to the general people. Those kinds of polyester thread are:

  • All-Purpose Thread

Being cheap and easy to obtain, this thread steals the crown from other threads designed for the purpose. The thread is best if you are using it for stitching or another similar task, if you are planning to use this one embroidery work, then you just ran out of luck.

  • Invisible Thread

The name is given to the thread for its transparent look which allows the thread to easily blend in with its surroundings

Final Thoughts

This is probably all you will need to know about the types of the thread which are being used in sewing.

Sewing is a form of art and without the right thread, it becomes a challenging task to achieve.On the contrary with the proper selection of thread for your project, it should go as smooth as cake.

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