Hello everyone! I hope you are all safe and warm and spending some time with your sewing machine when it's too cold to be outside. Haven't we been getting some incredible winter weather?!! For those who ski or do other outdoor winter sports, I guess all this snow is great.. for the rest of us, it provides a good excuse to stay inside and sew/quilt!!
I am off tomorrow on a little "jaunt" - I won't tell you where, I'll keep you guessing, but watch here later this week for some photos... I'll be seeing a Guild member who has several pieces in a BIG Quilt Show... complete with ribbons!!! Hopefully I'll have a few photos to post, so check back here on the weekend...
Until then, here is another in the Thread Series from Bob Purcell at Superior Threads, reprinted with permission from the Education portion of their newsletter. This article explains all about their King Tut thread....
As far as I
can tell, we are the only thread company that can honestly say our
cotton threads (King Tut and
MasterPiece) are extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton. Dozens of
other thread companies label their cotton threads as 'Egyptian cotton,
made in China,' or 'Egyptian cotton, made in India,' or other
countries. That is dishonest. True Egyptian-grown cotton accounts for
less than 1% of the world’s cotton, so it is not possible that all the
threads, clothing, bed sheets, and towels that claim to be "Egyptian
cotton" are really Egyptian cotton. King Tut and MasterPiece are
extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton. This is why we guarantee every
spool or cone we sell. It really is the best available.
King Tut is an extremely low-lint #40/3 extra-long staple
Egyptian-grown cotton thread. It is different from all other cotton
quilting threads because the high-quality nature of the raw products and
the special processing it undergoes. Below are points which detail why
King Tut is nature’s finest thread.
Perfect Growing Conditions
The best cotton in the world is grown in the Nile Delta region of
Egypt. Because this geographic area has an excellent combination of
weather and nutrient-rich soil from the Nile River, the cotton produced
here is premium. Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton is the
highest-quality cotton thread available.
Extremely Low Lint
When cotton thread comes into contact with a machine, needle, or
fabric, some lint will rub off. Lint buildup is not good,
as it can cause problems inside the bobbin case, tension area, and
clogging the thread path which results in poor stitch quality. King Tut
is an extremely low-lint thread due to the nature of extra-long staple
Egyptian-grown cotton and the special processing it undergoes.
Although it is never printed on labels, thread twist is measured by
the number of twists applied per meter. Why is this important? A
loosely twisted thread
requires less total fiber, unravels easily, and is less expensive to
manufacture. Regular cotton thread may have as few as 150 twists per
meter (think of a budget thread that can easily be untwisted by rubbing
it between your fingers.) King Tut has almost seven times as many
twists per meter, resulting in a smooth, consistent surface.
Although the main difference in cotton quality is determined by the
staple length, processing also
contributes to the quality of thread. Most cotton threads are
mercerized whether it is stated on the label or not. Mercerizing is the
process of treating cotton thread in a special solution, which causes
the fibers to swell. This allows dye to better penetrate the fibers,
resulting in even coloration and strengthened fibers. King Tut thread
The overall strength and quality of cotton thread is often measured
the length of the staple. Staples are the individual fibers from a
cotton boll. King Tut is certified as Egyptian-grown, EXTRA-LONG
staple cotton. This is the highest grade cotton in the world and is one
reason why King Tut thread is smooth, strong, and has extremely low
Variegated King Tut colors are precision-dyed with uniform one-inch
color change intervals. The benefits of precision-dyeing are consistent
flow, even color distribution, and uniform appearance. You know how the
thread will appear in any part of your quilt.
King Tut undergoes a special process called gassing. Gassing refers to passing a cotton thread at a high speed though flame,
burns off excess fuzz and lint. This process gives threads a brighter
and smoother appearance. You can tell whether or not a cotton thread is
gassed by the length of fuzz on a strand of cotton thread. If the fuzz
has very little variation and appears uniformly short in length, it has
been gassed. A non-gassed thread will have a combination of short,
medium, and long fuzz in an irregular pattern. Reduced fuzz means less
lint displaced inside your machine. King Tut thread is gassed.
We don’t have room on the label to print all the details such as
Mercerized and Gassed, but I’ve seen some labels advertising their
thread as “Double Mercerized” and “Double Gassed.” I asked our factory
technicians about this and their response was, “If it were done properly
the first time, there would never be a reason do double mercerize or
double gas the thread.”