The best thread for machine quilting. Threads are available in cotton, polyester, silk, wool, and rayon. Cotton threads generally have a matte finish, while polyester threads will have a bit of sheen. Cotton threads will create pilling when sewing, while polyester threads will not. Cotton is great for tying, while polyester is better for quilting. Cotton shrinks while polyester does not.

Silk threads are generally not used for quilting as they are expensive and more suitable for hand embellishing garments such as appliqués and buttonholes. However, this is also changing as heavier weight silk threads are produced for quilting. Rayon is not suitable for quilting because it is not strong and is generally only used for needlework or for crazy quilting on small projects. Woolen thread is best used for embroidery, sewing woolen garments or woolen applications.

Thread comes in weights of 12 to 100. The numbers come from an ancient system of counting the number of preset lengths of thread to create a standard weight. The smaller the number of threads, the lower the number. In other words, if only 12 lengths are needed to make a standard, it is a stronger thread than one that requires 100 lengths to equal the same weight.

This system is no longer standard, so the numbers cannot be used to compare threads between companies, only within the same company. In other words, a thread of 30% wt. from manufacturer A can be thicker or thinner than thread 30 wt. from manufacturer B. The choice of thread thickness and type is a personal decision.


Best thread for machine quilting. Quilters and sewer netters need quality materials to make durable projects at home. Home garments, quilts and crafts must have strong and smooth sewing threads without lint. In addition, home crafters want to choose from an assortment of fibers made from silk, polyester, metal, wool, rayon, nylon, or cotton that will work well with a home project.

Sewers will also want to choose from a wide variety of sewing thread colors to look their best on quilts or garments. A home sewer or quilter requires strong threads that remain intact when the mechanisms of various models of sewing machines move. The threads must also fit easily into machine and hand needles with different eye sizes.

There are many different types of filament and choosing the right one for your project is important. What to consider when choosing the type of sewing thread depends on the characteristics of the particular thread or material. The following is an overview of the different materials and some of their properties.

Each type of sewing thread is best suited for specific fabrics. Woolen fibers are usually thicker and give a homespun look to hand-stitched or machine-stitched crafts, blankets and garments. Cotton is a popular fiber that is useful for most projects. Silk thread is extremely thin and durable, making it an excellent sewing thread for attaching decorative beads to clothing. Channelers and quilters may want to use a strong and flexible polyester thread. When a home sewer or quilter wants to keep bright colors, using silk thread to sew items is a wise choice. Nylon fibers are transparent and strong, but can also melt when ironed. Metallic fibers create texture while adding vibrancy to fabrics such as clothing, crafts and quilts.

In addition to fiber content, fibers are available in different weights. Thread weight will tell channelers and quilters the thickness of the sewing thread. Knowing the thickness of the threads is important for creating a project by hand or machine stitch. The filament weights are printed on labels attached to the spools. When a quilter or sewer quilter is buying supplies for a thin or delicate fabric, a higher weight number is chosen to indicate a lightweight thread.


Best thread for machine quilting. For most home machine quilting, 40 gram cotton thread is an excellent choice. Since the 40-weight cotton thread is heavier than the finer 50-weight cotton thread, the quilting stitches will show up more easily on the quilt. Quilting threads hold the layers of the quilt sandwich securely together and create notches in the project wherever stitches are sewn. The notches and thread give the quilt a decorative finish.

Many types of thread can be used for machine quilting, and the quilting thread can either contrast or blend with the fabrics used to make the quilt. If the fabrics are busy and eye-catching, consider a quilting thread that blends with the design of the surface so the viewer’s eye stays focused on the fabric and design of the quilt. If you prefer, quilting patterns and machine quilting threads can become the focal point of the quilt.

Quilting threads can be made from natural fibers such as wool, silk, cotton, linen and jute. Some fibers are regenerated from cellulose and others are made from synthetic fibers such as metallic, polyester and nylon fibers. Cotton, metallic, and rayon are among the most popular threads used for machine quilting. Synthetic and cotton threads come in different weights. Metal threads are in a class of their own with their own special properties.


Best thread for machine quilting. The thread weight is usually stamped on the edge of the spool or printed on the top or bottom of the spool. The sewing thread becomes heavier as the weight decreases. Heavier weight threads are more pronounced when quilting. 50 lighter weight threads are usually mixed into the fabric.

Thread weight is just one of many factors to consider when choosing machine quilting thread. Will the thread color blend in with the fabrics or stand out to make the quilting an important part of the design. Consider whether you prefer the matte finish of cotton thread, the shine of silk thread, or the sparkle of metallic thread. Choose the threads you like, get the right needle for each type of thread and try the thread.


Best thread for machine quilting. You don’t have to worry about adjusting the tension, and if you’re willing to experiment, it can make your quilting life a lot easier. Make sure you start each project with a new needle. When threading your sewing machine, note the various places where the thread must pass through or over the bar or between the discs, as all these encounters create tension on the thread.

Use a needle with an eye that the thread can easily pass through, such as a metal needle with a longer metal thread eye or a top stitch or quilting needle (size 90/14 for 30 or 40 weight thread). If you are not sure which needle is the best choice, you should research the needle sizes of the machine.

Make a little practice quilt sandwich and make a few stitches. If you find that the stitches are too loose, adjust the tension. Ideally, your bobbin thread and upper thread should meet in the middle of the layers – learn more about setting sewing machine tension and troubleshooting.

If the upper thread is visible on the underside of the quilt, the upper tension is too loose. If your bobbin thread is visible on the top of the quilt, your top tension is too tight. Make sure you’re using a bobbin thread that works well with quilting thread—manufacturers usually include this information in the thread descriptions or on their websites.


Best thread for machine quilting. Quilting thread is a whole different beast! Sure, you can use the same spool for the entire project, but if you want bold and bright or soft and structured quilting lines, you’ll need to switch thread and spool. When you’re piecing or quilting, sometimes you don’t know what type of thread to use. There is certainly a lot to learn and entire books have been written on the subject. Some fiber manufacturers have entire websites dedicated to fiber facts.


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