Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thread Talk Part 3

Earlier this summer I started a series of posts on the differences among threads, reprinting, with permission, the educational portion of the Superior Threads newsletters from Bob Purcell. Here today is part 3. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

This is Part three in a series discussing the differences in threads.
A generation ago, there were very few thread choices.  It was almost is if one type of thread was used  for every project, whether that was piecing, quilting, clothing construction, upholstery, and so on.  Times have changed and much better quality products are available today.  Thread has become more specialized to enhance and improve our sewing projects.  

There are differences between quilting, embroidery, bobbin, applique, serger, upholstery, and, construction threads.

Applique Thread
Although some applique techniques call for a medium or heavy thread to show off the thread, most applique techniques intend to hide the thread and therefore use a fine, blending thread. We will discuss the blending applique threads.
  • #100 silk  Kimono Silk is a very fine, smooth, and lint-free multi-filament silk thread.  The highest quality silk thread is multi-filament (multiple strands twisted together) silk.  Lower grades are spun silk (short pieces of scrap silk spun together).  Because Kimono Silk is so fine, it seems to disappear into the fabric.
    • Available in 80 colors
    • Ideal for hand and invisible machine appliqué, detail quilting, lacework and bobbin thread
    • Silk naturally has a lustrous sheen
  • 50 wt. cotton  A little heavier than a fine silk or poly, but blends very well.  The highest grade cotton is Egyptian-grown extra-long staple MasterPiece cotton. Cotton is iron safe.  A low lint (to avoid bulkiness), high grade #50 cotton thread is fine enough to blend into the appliqued fabric, yet strong enough applique by either hand or machine .
    Recommended: MasterPiece available on 600 yd. spools (3-ply) in 75 colors and on prewound bobbins (2-ply) in 70 colors.
  • 60 wt. multi-filament polyester. Fine, strong, lint free, and blends well.  Bottom Line is a 60 wt. 2-ply lint-free filament polyester.  
    • Available in 55 colors
    • Ideal for hand and machine appliqué, detail quilting, embroidery, stitch-in-the-ditch, bobbin thread, trapunto, binding, free standing lace, heirloom sewing, serger thread, and garment construction.
    • Several colors blend into fabrics so well that they appear invisible.
    Available on 1,420 yd. spools on prewound bobbins dozen sets and a set of 35 in a BobbinSaver ring.
    Recommended: Bottom Line
    Note: Bottom line 1,420 yd. spools are on sale through the end of July. See Specials below.
  • Monofilament threadInvisible polyester monofilament thread available in Clear and Smoke colors.  Commonly used for invisible applique.  Recommended to set iron to low or medium heat.  If you like monofilament thread, make sure you use polyester monofilament and not nylon because nylon tends to go brittle, discolor, and has a lower heat tolerance.  Some brands of monofilament invisible threads are labeled "polyamide" which is the chemical name for nylon.
    Recommended:  MonoPoly invisible thread.  100% polyester.
Used with permission from Bob Purcell,   www.superior

No comments:

Post a Comment