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.
If your fabric has a pattern, choose a color thread
that matches the most dominant color in your design.
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
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.
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.
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. Keep in mind the quality of what you buy.
Find a brand you like, and stick with it.
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.
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
Use metallic thread for both machine and hand
embroidery. Make sure, however, that the thread you
use for machine embroidery is labeled suitable for
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
- Refer to your sewing pattern for any special
- 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.