Choosing the proper thread for your project

There are a couple things to consider when it comes to selecting which thread to use with your project. Threads come in various colors, compositions, and thicknesses as well as brands. Choosing the right brand of thread can be just as important as matching the color to your fabric. Using a cheap, low quality thread will show up in your stitches and ultimately in your project itself.

A-Best carries several different quality brands of thread including Aurifil, Floriani, Madera and Dime. While these are the major brands we carry, there are several other brands we carry that are more machine/project specific.

Once you’ve chosen a brand, it’s important to consider the composition of your thread.

Common types of thread

Cotton Thread

A cotton thread has very little stretch, low sheen and a matte appearance.  Choose a medium thickness cotton thread for working with lightweight to medium-weight cotton, linen, and rayon fabrics. Most often used in heirloom sewing, decorative stitching, embroidery, patchwork, and quilting.

Cotton-Wrapped Polyester Thread

All-purpose sewing thread, strong with low sheen.

Polyester Thread

Polyester thread often has a wax or silicone finish that allows it to slip through the fabric easily. Polyester thread is all-purpose thread, strong, colorfast, and it has some stretch to it. It is heat and mildew resistant and comes in a great color variety. Polyester thread lends itself well to embroidery projects.

Heavy-Duty Thread

Heavy-duty thread is also a polyester thread, the perfect choice when sewing home decor projects.

Silk Thread

Silk thread is strong, smooth, and lustrous which makes it perfect when sewing silk or wool.

Metallic Thread

Metallic thread is a thread that has been wrapped in thin metal. You can find it in gold, silver and copper varieties. Metallic threads require a special needle, so make sure to change out your needle before using it.

For tips on choosing the proper needle for your project, check out our blog: Searching for a needle in a haystack!

Matching Thread Color With Fabric

Some would consider color choice one of the harder aspects when it comes to thread. Not all fabrics will have an exact color match and some patterned fabrics will challenge you to find a thread that blends in properly. Never buy a spool of thread based on a guess! Take a sample of your fabric with you to the store and compare and contrast the thread to the fabric.

Lighting is also very important to consider, as both your thread and your fabric will look different in artificial light when compared to natural light. What might seem like a perfect match under florescent lights could look completely different in sun light.

So how do you choose a thread?

The type of thread that’s right for your project will mostly be decided by your choice of fabric. The thread should match the size, weight, and properties of the fabric you will be sewing on. A-Best recommends that you match the thread content to the fabric content: cotton thread for natural fibers, polyester thread for synthetic blend fabrics.

Most of the time you can simply find an all-purpose polyester thread in the right color and the results will be great. What is the right color? That’s totally up to you! You can either choose to match your fabric or pick a contrasting color.

Whichever type of thread you choose, buy the best you can afford. Cheap thread is cheap thread, and the lack of quality will ultimately show on your project. For general machine sewing, look for a smooth, nub-free strand that doesn’t twist easily and is mostly fuzz free.

Keep in mind that right now, A-Best has a great deal on thread! Mix and match any thread (all colors, all brands), buy three spools and get the fourth spool free! *Discount taken off lowest priced item. Does not apply to thread packs or kits. No other discounts apply.*

We also have Floriani Thread Boxes that can hold up to 30 spools of thread. These boxes retail at $39.99, but when you buy 30 spools of thread, you get the box free!

Stop by the store, or give us a call at 507-377-8244 and speak with one of our solutions consultants for expert tips on selecting the proper thread for your project.

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Daniel Hanson

Daniel Hanson

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