The thread you choose for any sewing project should be similar in fiber content to that of your fabric. Cotton, polyester and cotton/poly threads are the most widely used.
* STEP 1: Choose a color thread that matches the most dominant color in your fabric. If you are unable to find a perfect match, select a thread that is one or two shades darker. Stitches made with a lighter shade of thread will stand out more.
* STEP 2: Use cotton thread for light to medium-weight fabrics that have little or no stretch to them. Cotton thread will not “give,” and the stitches may break if used on a stretchy knit fabric.
* STEP 3: Use polyester thread for most hand and machine stitching. This thread is most suitable for synthetic fabrics or fabrics with a lot of stretch to them. The finish of this thread, however, can appear waxy or shiny.
* STEP 4: Use a cotton-wrapped polyester thread for most sewing projects. This thread is usually labeled “all-purpose” and is the thread you will see most frequently in fabric stores. It is suitable for all types of fabrics and for both hand and machine sewing.
* STEP 5: Use fine cotton or silk thread on very thin or delicately woven fabrics such as those used for lingerie or sheer garments. Silk thread is more elastic than cotton, so opt for silk if your garment fabric has any stretch to it at all.
* STEP 6: Look for thread labeled “heavy duty” for projects that require extra strength and durability in stitches. For example, an upholstery project that uses very heavy or stiff fabric will require heavy-duty thread. Some apparel items made with a similar type of fabric will also require this thread.
* STEP 7: Use metallic thread for both machine and hand embroidery. Make sure, however, that the thread you use for machine embroidery is labeled suitable for machine sewing.
* STEP 8: Use quilting thread for your hand or machine quilting projects and for projects that are similarly layered. Most quilting thread is all-cotton and has a finish that allows the thread to slip more easily through the fabric and batting layers.
Tips & Warnings
* Refer to your sewing pattern for any special thread recommendations.
* Most all-purpose threads are about a size 50 weight. In thread sizing, this is medium-weight. The higher the number, the finer the thread.
* Purchase all-purpose thread in large cones for use with your serger.