Sewing thread comes in a wide array of materials, weights, and colors, so it can be overwhelming to choose one. Considering your project can help since certain threads work better than others in specific situations, such as silk thread for sewing buttonholes on a dress shirt or heavy-duty cotton thread for sewing the seam on a pair of jeans. You may also narrow down your choices based on other factors, such as your pattern’s recommendations, desired color, and needle size.
Picking Thread Material for Your Project
1.Opt for polyester or nylon for a durable, slightly stretchy thread.
Polyester and nylon threads are coated in wax or silicone so they will glide more easily through the fibers as you sew.You may want to avoid polyester or nylon thread if your finished item will require high-heat pressing. These types of thread will melt under higher temperatures.
Mid-weight polyester or nylon thread works best for knit garments since it will stretch with the fabric.
This type of thread is also great for winding a bobbin since it glides easily.
Polyester thread is also available in cones for use with sergers, which are heavy-duty sewing machines that create overlock (made up of 3-4 stitches) stitches to bind fabric together.
2. Choose cotton if you’ll be working with a lightweight or non-stretchy fabric.
This thread works best for cotton, sheer, and linen fabrics. Don’t use this type of thread if you’re working with a stretchy fabric since cotton thread doesn’t stretch. Cotton thread is also a good option for items that will require frequent laundering since the color won’t run.
A mid-weight cotton thread works best for quilting, while a lightweight cotton thread is ideal for machine sewing and delicate embroidery.
You can wind a bobbin with cotton thread if you’re sewing a delicate item or working with cotton, linen, or another non-stretchy fabric.
3.Try cotton-wrapped polyester for something stretchy and cotton-like.
This is also known as all-purpose thread and it works great for most projects. You can also press this thread with high heat unlike polyester. If you want the look of cotton with the give of polyester, this may be a good option.
All-purpose thread comes in a wide range of colors and weights, so you’ll have many options to find the perfect thread for your project. If you’re unsure about what thread to choose for a sewing project, try all-purpose.
This type of thread works well as bobbin thread.
4. Reserve silk thread for tailoring and fine details.
Buttons, buttonholes, and hand-basting are great situations to use a silk thread. Silk thread is also a good choice for more delicate pieces, such as lingerie and heirloom items. If you’re sewing a silk item, then silk thread would also be the best choice.
Avoid using silk thread with stretchy fabrics and anything that requires a durable, strong thread. Silk thread is best for embellishing and sewing delicate items.
You can wind a bobbin with silk thread, but only if you’re sewing a delicate item.
5.Go with rayon, polyester, or wool thread if you’re embroidering.
Embroidery and appliques look best with rayon, polyester, or wool thread, which come in a wide range of weights. Choose a weight that will give your item the desired finished look, such as a lightweight rayon or polyester thread for delicate embroidery projects or a heavyweight rayon, polyester, or wool thread for a chunky applique.
Rayon and polyester threads come in many colors and finishes, such as matte, shiny, or metallic.
This thread also works well as bobbin thread.
6. Select a heavy-duty thread for sewing denim and upholstery.
If you are sewing a pair of jeans or an upholstered item, such as couch cushions or a chair cover, heavy-duty threads are the best choice. You can find heavy-duty threads in cotton, cotton-wrapped polyester, silk, and more. Choose the material that best meets your project’s needs.
For example, you might opt for a cotton-wrapped polyester thread to sew the seam on a pair of jeans, while a cotton or silk thread might provide the most attractive finish for a sofa cushion.You can use this type of thread with a bobbin if you’re sewing a thick or heavy material.
7. Look for a thread similar to the thread in your item if you’re mending it.
If you need to repair a torn seam in an item, then try to choose a thread that matches the thread that was used to sew the item. Compare the color and texture of the thread to other thread types you’re considering. When in doubt, go with an all-purpose thread that matches the color of the original thread as closely as possible.
You could also try to match the color of the fabric if you need to patch a hole in an item.