Thread, is there really a difference??

Thread, is there really a difference??

Good morning and Happy Friday! 🙂

So you are at the fabric store, and you need some thread.   Who knew there could be so many colors, types, price ranges??   Is there really a difference between this .99 cent massive amount on a cone in one hand compared to this rather expensive, not as much on a cone, in the other??

Yep, yes, absolutely, and I’m here to enlighten you.   This is the first in my series of THREAD guidance.

Let me begin by saying,  Cheap thread is cheap thread and will not last. Quality thread costs more but is definitely worth the investment  to ensure quality and durability of your project in the long-run, as well as better for your sewing machines/sergers/etc.  Simply stated, you should invest in the best quality thread that you can afford.

What is thread??   Threads begin as simple yarns. Twisting together short fibres or continuous filaments produces these yarns. Two or more yarns are combined to make thread.   Nylon and  polyester are the only threads that can be made from a single yarn or single ply.


There are three origins of sewing thread .  PLANT, ANIMAL, & SYNTHETIC

PLANT- Cotton and Bamboo.  Comes from cellulose plant sources.  Used for sewing rayon, linen, and cotton fabrics due to its similar shrinkage features. It is inelastic and appropriate for use with woven fabrics.  It is NOT considered “permanent”.  Think of all of the times you have ripped the seams out of that piece you sewed incorrectly.  A few tugs and the threads will break.  If you have purchased cheap cotton thread, it takes even fewer tugs for that piece to fall apart.  Sometimes that’s not all bad, but for those of us who like to wash a wear our items several times, this is a serious consideration.

ANIMAL- Silk.  Two forms of silk are used in the manufacture of silk thread — NETTE and SCHAPPE.   Nette silk is derived from the cocoons that still hold the pupa, while schappe silk is taken from hatched cocoons.  (Nette is by far superior and more pricey).   Used for sewing wools and silk fabrics due to its strength, elasticity, and fine diameter.  Also used for  tailoring, to finish the edges of buttonholes, to sew on buttons, and for decoration.   It is strong and can be permanently stretched.  (No ripping out seams at a tug).

SYNTHETIC- Polyester and Nylon are man made materials.  Nylon and polyester threads are preferred for synthetics and stretch knits.  Both types of synthetic threads have the same characteristics including no  shrinkage, high strength, and excellent abilities to stretch and recover making them suitable for knits, preshrunk wovens, and sheers. Synthetic threads are marketed as Polypropylene, *Kevlar, Teflon, and *Nomex.

**Kevlar and Nomex are fire-resistant/retardant and used for creating firefighters uniforms, motor racing driver uniforms, as well as sleepers  and crib linens for infants.

As you can see, there is A LOT going on to understanding thread and its various uses.

Next week I will blog about Plant based thread and what to look for when purchasing your cotton/bamboo threads.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments.  I will do my best to answer them as accurately as possible.

Wishing you all a wonderful, warm and creative day!


Andrea 🙂


2 responses »

    • Hi Cindy, I am so sorry that I didn’t reply sooner but wouldn’t you know it, I found your comment in my “junk” mail this morning! How dare Hotmail do such a thing to you!!! lol
      What material will you be working with to create the 2 T summer dress? Woven (such as cotton) or Knit (such as Jersey)?


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