When it comes to thread, size matters, but...content matters more!
Your fabric and thread must work together to create a flawless, beautiful sewing project that will last. Otherwise, in addition to frustration, discouragement, and wasted fabric, the wrong type of thread can cause UFOs (aka, unfinished objects). Most of us already have plenty of those.
Let's look at the most common threads and their uses:
Cotton is soft, easy to maintain, and durable. It resists breakdown and has a nice luster, but it doesn't have much "give."
An all-purpose thread, polyester is durable, strong, and affordable and won't break down over time. It has a wax or silicone coating that allows it to easily slip through fabric. Use this as your go-to thread since it works well for most sewing projects, especially those with stretchy fabrics.
More affordable than silk, rayon has a nice shine and creates smooth, flat, high-quality stitches. It's stronger than cotton but not as strong as polyester, needs maintenance, and tends to deteriorate. Use on projects that require flat stitches.
With good strength and high elasticity, nylon works well for clothing, creating durable garments. Nylon is not heat resistant and can discolor and become brittle. Use for embroidery, silk, and wool fabric.
Metallic thread is made from gold or silver filaments mixed with other fibers and has an embellished, detailed glamorous look. It is costly for most sewing projects. Use for handbags, embroidery, or topstitching.
Let's cut through the fluff! Summing up, here are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind when selecting your thread:
- In general, you should match your thread type to your fabric type. For example, use silk thread when sewing a silk garment.
- In most cases, polyester is the best choice, specifically cotton-wrapped polyester, which is often called "all-purpose" thread.
- Do not use cotton thread for a stretchy or knit fabric.
- You get what you pay for. Invest a little money in a quality thread because your projects will look better and last longer.