Last Updated on November 5, 2023
Choosing the perfect thread for your sewing project is more than just selecting the right color or fiber content. Thread thickness is a crucial factor that determines the success of your sewing endeavor.
Here, we will delve into the different thread measurement systems and explore the ideal sewing threads for various tasks.
- Choosing the right thread thickness is essential for successful sewing projects.
- Familiarize yourself with Tex, WT, and Denier systems, but only get caught up if you’re a professional or competitive quilter.
- Different sewing activities require specific threads – quilting, embroidery, top stitching, overlocking, and hand stitching. Each has its ideal thread type.
- Pay attention to labels and displays in thread stores, indicating which threads are suitable for various sewing tasks.
Thread Measurement Systems
Several methods are used to determine the weight of sewing threads: the Tex system, the Weight system (WT), and the Denier system.
The Tex system measures the weight of a thousand meters of thread in grams, determining the Tex number.
The Weight system calculates how many kilometers of thread weigh one kilogram. The Denier system measures threads in larger lengths (9,000 meters) and weighs them in grams to determine the Denier number.
Additionally, number systems and ticket numbers are used by manufacturers, adding complexity to the thread selection process.
Choosing the Right Thread Weight
The thread system you encounter depends on your location, where you buy your thread, and the brand you choose.
However, it’s important to note that unless you are a commercial sewist or a competitive quilter, obsessing over thread weight systems might lead to unnecessary confusion.
Sewing Thread for Different Tasks – Which Sewing Thread Should You Choose?
Choose your sewing thread based on the intended purpose and sewing activity. Focus on understanding the thread’s designated use (e.g., quilting, embroidery, top stitching) rather than getting bogged down by Tex, WT, or Denier measurements.
Instead, focus on understanding the intended purpose of the thread you’re using.
Quilting threads typically range between 58 and 40 WT. Hand quilting, machine quilting, and long arm quilting have specific thread requirements. Machine quilting threads, labeled with their intended use, help you choose the right one for your project.
Embroidery threads are designed for decorative embellishments and often have a sheen. Most are made from rayon and are not suitable for heavy wear. Choose threads labeled for machine or hand embroidery, depending on your project.
Top stitch threads are functional and add stability to garments. They are available in 40 WT or 30 WT and are designed to stand out, creating a decorative finish on your garments.
These threads are usually polyester and are specifically designed for overlockers or sergers. They are slightly thicker than regular sewing machine threads (around 40 WT) and come in larger cones for extended use.
Threads for hand stitching, including hand quilting threads and embroidery floss, are thicker and often coated with wax for smooth gliding through fabrics. These threads are ideal for hand-sewn projects.
All Purpose Threads
Commonly labeled as Sew All or All Purpose threads, these threads are versatile and suitable for various sewing tasks, including sewing seams, edge stitching, quilting, and even hand stitching. They are typically around 40 WT.
Why You Don’t Need to Worry About Thread Weight Systems?
When you visit a thread store, the displays are organized by sewing activity, making it easy to choose the right thread for your project. Thread shelves are labeled with the intended use, ensuring you pick the appropriate thread without getting lost in the technicalities of thread weight systems.
FAQ – People Also Ask
What is the Tex system for measuring thread weight?
The Tex system measures the weight of a thousand meters of thread in grams, determining the Tex number. For example, if a thousand meters of thread weighs 25 grams, it is classified as Tex 25.
How is the Weight system (WT) different from the Tex system?
The Weight system calculates how many kilometers of thread weigh one kilogram, emphasizing the weight rather than the length of the thread. For instance, a 40 WT thread means 40 kilometers of thread weighs one kilogram.
What is Denier in thread measurement?
Denier refers to the weight of a thread in grams per 9,000 meters. Thicker threads have higher Denier values. It’s a common measurement system used for various textiles.
What are top stitch threads used for?
Top stitch threads are functional threads used for adding stability to garments. They are slightly thicker (around 40 WT or 30 WT) and are decorative, creating defined structural finishes on the fabric.
Can embroidery threads be used for regular sewing?
Embroidery threads are designed for decorative embellishments and are unsuitable for heavy wear or seam construction. They are best used for embroidery projects and should be avoided for regular sewing tasks.
Are all-purpose threads suitable for hand stitching?
Yes, all-purpose threads, often labeled as Sew All or All-Purpose threads, are versatile and can be used for hand stitching, sewing seams, quilting, and other tasks. They are around 40 WT and work well for most general sewing projects.
How can I choose the right thread for my sewing project if I’m not familiar with thread weight systems?
When selecting threads, focus on the intended use labeled on the thread spool. Thread displays in stores are usually organized by sewing activity, making it easy to choose the appropriate thread for your project without delving into the complexities of thread weight systems.
Can I use quilting thread for machine embroidery?
While quilting thread is thicker and designed for quilting projects, there may be better choices for machine embroidery, which requires threads with a sheen for decorative purposes.
Why don’t all thread spools indicate their weight on the label?
Not all manufacturers label the weight of their threads on the spools, as the threads are often categorized based on their intended use. Thread displays in stores are organized by activity, helping customers select the right thread without knowing the specific weight.
Can I use hand-stitching threads on a sewing machine?
Hand stitching threads are thicker and often coated with wax, making them unsuitable for sewing machines. Using these threads in a sewing machine can lead to tension issues and may damage the machine.
Understanding the different sewing thread measurement systems can be overwhelming. Still, by focusing on the intended purpose of the thread and the sewing activity, you can confidently choose the right thread for your projects.
So, embrace your creativity, have fun sewing, and let your stitches tell your unique story!