Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thread Choices - Day Three Thread Weight

Okay, I admit it. I am very late in posting the third installment of my Thread Choices discussion. You see I got very busy with the long arm business (which is wonderful) and I also had two deadlines for quilts to be completed of my own for various reasons. So better late than never, what follows is the third installment of this discussion on thread choices regarding THREAD WEIGHTS.

Thread Weight

I don't know about you but when I started sewing and even up until the point where I started my long arm quilting business, I really didn't know that much about thread weight.  Sewing thread weight was probably not something I even thought about when I learned to sew as a child.  We bought small spools of thread in the closest color that matched what we were sewing, usually clothes.  The local fabric store had Dual Duty by Coats and Clarks and that was it.

These days, I am a big fan of Essential cotton thread from Connecting Threads.  It comes in a wide variety of colors and 1200 yard cones.  Its 50 weight and sews well in both of my Berninas and my featherweights.  The cones are compact with little waste and its 100% long staple cotton with a satin finish.  And lets face it, its economical.  If you are thrifty, try it.  I think you will like it.  It sews best with a 80/12 needle.  I have also used it successfully in my long arm machine when I needed just the right color and didn't have it in one of the other bigger cone brands I normally use.

But let's discuss thread weight numbers before I continue.  The smaller the number the heavier the thread.  The larger the number the more delicate or finer the thread thickness.  An easy way to remember this is that thread weight is the opposite of needle sizes.  In needles, the bigger the number, the bigger, heavier the needle.  In thread, the 30 weight threads are pretty hefty and they will require a needle with a much larger eye to successfully sew them.  A 50 or 60 weight thread can work with a smaller eyed needle which leaves less of a hole in the fabric when sewing.

When I started long arm quilting, I bought several large cones of Signature Cotton thread in various colors.  Its a 40 weight thread so its pretty strong and works well in my long arm machine.  I also purchased some PermaCore Thread which was also a 40 weight thread, but I bought it because it came on really big cones of 6,000 yards.  It works very well in my machine and I still will use it today if the color I need is in that thread line and I can get it easily.  Below is a picture with Signature on the left and Permacore on the right.  I also use Signature cotton to piece with on my domestic machines. with a size 80/12 needle.


More recently, I have started to replace my long arm thread collection with Superior threads.  I love the OMNI threads, which is a 40 weight polyester thread that comes in over 170 colors and it gets along best with my Gammill when quilting.  It is such a high quality thread that it doesn't shed or break and I can quilt fast and long with it with no issues.  I can use a size 80 domestic machine need or a size 90/4.5  long arm needle to sew.



Another Superior thread set that I really love is Magnifico.  This thread is a high strength Trilobal polyester thread that comes in at least 200 colors and is a 40 weight thread.  Its shiny and beautiful.
This thread looks great on quilts that need extra spark to them, show quilts and when you want the quilting stitches to really show on the front and back.



So Fine #50 is a 50 weight thread also made by Superior.  Its a really high quality thread that works well both in the top and bottom for quilting and you can use a #16/3.5 needle to quilt with it. This thread is flat (no shine) and it looks great on applique and background fills. There are 134 colors.




Bottom line thread by Superior Threads is a  60 weight thread.  Its a super fine polyester thread and it works beautifully in both the bobbin and the top of my Gammill machine. It has a slight sheen to it and it also comes in pre-wound bobbins from the manufacturer.  You can see how fine it is in the photo below, wrapped around my fingers.  It doesn't shed and you get alot more on a single bobbin load than other threads, meaning you have to change your bobbins left often.


So remember, don't be afraid to try new threads in your machines at home.  The larger the thread weight, the finer the thread.  And always remember to use the correct type of needle in your machine for your thread choices.  It will make your sewing fun and easy.

I just want to note that I have not been compensated for my review of these various threads by their manufacturers.  The content of this blog post is just what I know from my own personal experience.

#Threadchoices #threadweight #superiorthreadsrock #Essentialthreads  #love2longarm
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