Sewing Box Guide – Part 1 – Sewing Threads

There are a few essentials items that everyone needs in their sewing box. It is best to start off with a few bits and then add to your accessories as you go. This post ended up being a little long (sorry!) so I’ve split it into a miniseries which I’ll post in instalments.


So here we go! …..


Sewing Threads


Try not to use dirt cheap thread! (The little six spools for a pound type) These threads are ok for just practicing and getting used to your machine but they do affect your quality of sewing. They can also damage your machine if you’re using them all the time.

This is because the thread runs through various parts and discs in your machine. Cheap spools of cotton thread are rougher (more loose fibres) so they take more of a toll on your machine, that can lead to problems with the tension. You will also find that the thread breaks more easily; which becomes tedious having to constantly rethread your machine! Sewing is less smooth and more jumpy.

I would recommend a better quality thread such as Gutermann. They come in a wide range of colours as well as varying thicknesses. For the most part all you will need is all-purpose cotton or polyester thread.

Types of threads

  • Cotton thread – Is a good choice when sewing with lightweight to medium fabrics such as cottons, linens and rayon’s. It doesn’t have much give and can break easily but is great for delicate fabrics.


  • Polyester thread – This thread often has a wax or silicone finish that allows it to slip through the fabric easily and means it has more give than cotton thread, so it’s less likely to break. It can be used for general use and is extremely strong. If you want your stitching to be completely invisible you can get invisible polyester thread.


  • Heavy-duty thread – If you are sewing with canvas or upholstery fabric this is the thread to use. It’s made from polyester but is much thicker and heavier, so wouldn’t be suitable for most garment or cotton craft project


  • Silk thread – Ideal for basting, silk thread is very fine and flexible which means it doesn’t leave holes in the fabric.


  • Wool thread- Mainly used for embroidery projects, it’s very strong making it ideal for heavy fabrics like wool and canvas.


  • Metallic thread – This decorative thread can be found in various colours and is mainly used for embroidery or as a top stitch.


So what to use on your project….

The fabric is what determines the type of thread you should use. You wouldn’t use a cotton on a heavy weight fabric like leather or denim. Polyester thread will most likely be the thread of choice for most projects that you make, as its stronger than cotton. The great thing about threads available nowadays is that there is such a wide range of colours that you can match the colour of the thread to the fabric pretty easily. You could of course use a contrasting colour and make it part of the decorative finish. As I mentioned earlier always! pick a good quality thread and not a cheap alternative, you will notice a big difference in the way it sews and the end finish of your project.


So there you go! I hope that helped and if you have any other tips or advice feel free to post in the comments below. I shall be looking at sewing needles in my next sewing box post.




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