Types of sewing threads

Types of sewing threads

Can you imagine how many types of sewing threads there are? Their fiber composition, thickness, elasticity, etc. influence the resulting garment.

There are three main groups of threads depending on the fiber content:

  • natural, made of linen, silk, or cotton fibers
  • synthetic, made of polyether, polyamide, or viscose
  • blends.

‌Here are some most common sewing threads:

Cotton thread is designed to be used with lightweight and medium-weight cotton, viscose, linen, and other types of fabric, including delicate ones. It is not suitable for elastic fabrics (e.g. knits).

Textured thread is made of 100% polyester. It is soft and elastic and has a fuzzy and woolly-like texture. When used for finishing the edges on the overlocker, it results in a soft and delicate seam, making it perfect for garments like lingerie, sportswear, and knits. It may also be used for attaching the elastic.

Heavy-duty thread is designed to withstand high tension and wear. It can be cotton, polyester, or a combination of the two. This thread type is largely used in industrial settings.

Elastic thread is made of spandex and polyether, which give it up to 7 stretch factor. It is normally used on the bobbin of the sewing machine in combination with an all-purpose thread for stretch effects such as shirring.

Monofilament is also known as invisible nylon. This thread is semi-translucent and it is widely used for sewing curtains.

Water-soluble basting thread saves the time you spend removing basting stitches. To remove the stitches, simply immerse the garment in the water. When used to machine-baste, lower the thread tension as well as the stitching speed.

‌Here are some special thread types:

Smocking thread reacts to the heat of the iron. It shrinks but the fabric doesn’t, causing a controlled puckering. The result depends on the structure of the fabric and used stitch type.

Glow-in-the-dark thread "charges" after being exposed to the light. When stitching, use it as both a needle and bobbin thread.

Metallic thread is made of a fine special holographic foil, which imparts a stunning, jewel-like sparkle.

More useful sewing tips are here:

How to quickly unpick the overlocker stitches

How to quickly and neatly press the hem allowance under

How to make shirring with an elastic thread