Polyester thread is a synthetic multi-purpose thread. It is a good choice for most machine and hand sewing projects. Polyester thread works well with stretchy fabrics because it gives them a lot of stretch. Due to the wax or silicone treatment that often covers this thread, it glides easily through the fabric. This type of thread can be suitable for many purposes and is commonly used for general sewing, quilting and embroidery. It can also be used to add fabric during upholstery. Synthetic fiber is usually made from chemicals. Polyester-based yarn is made from polyester fibers melted and spun into fibers at high temperature.
A durable sewing material that gained popularity in 1970s fashion, polyester thread is thread made from polyester, which is a petroleum-based synthetic material. This type of thread may be appropriate for many purposes, and is commonly used for general sewing, quilting, and embroidery. It can also be used for adding fabric during upholstering.
BEST RECOMMENDED TYPES OF POLYESTER THRED
Core-spun polyester thread yarns are a combination of a fibrous polyester core wrapped in spun polyester. The advantage of using core-spun polyester threads such as OMNI or OMNI-V is the added strength provided by the core of the thread. OMNI and OMNI-V are popular for quilting with a matte finish and strong tensile strength.
Polyester fiber is a fiber made from continuous filaments. Monofilament, which looks like fishing line, is only one type of filament. This is a monofilament (single strand) thread. MonoPoly is an example of a monofilament yarn. Other filament yarns are multiple filaments, which consist of two or three strands twisted together. This is the largest category of polyester fibers. Multifilament strands are smooth and lint-free, but not transparent. The advantage of thread that does not shed fibers is a cleaner machine and less maintenance. Bottom line and so good! are examples of this polyester fiber.
Trilobal polyester is a multifilament, twisted, continuous fiber with a high luster. It has the clean look of rayon or silk, but the benefits of polyester fiber. Our Magnifico and Fantastico threads are trilobed polyester threads.
Spun polyester threads are made by spinning or twisting shorter lengths of polyester fibers. It is similar to the production of cotton threads. These short fibers are then twisted together to form a thread of the desired size. Spun polyester threads create the appearance of cotton thread but have more elasticity. We do not recommend spun polyester for quilting because it is not as strong as core, filament, or trilobed polyester threads. Because polyester has fantastic UV resistance, bonded polyester is commonly used for outdoor furniture and car upholstery. A special resin coating adds strength and helps reduce friction when sewing at high speed.
Polyester fibers recover quickly after stretching (the term stretch describes stretching and recovery) and absorb very little moisture. Polyester is heat resistant (safe for drying and ironing) with a melting point of about 480°F (by comparison, nylon begins to yellow at 350°F and melts at about 415°F). Polyester fibers are colorfast, chemically resistant and can be washed or dry cleaned with most common cleaning solvents.
FEW IMPORTANT TIPS FOR USING THE RIGHT POLYESTER THREAD
Polyester thread like Nylon fiber is flexible and also known for its strength and stretch ability. Use nylon thread for light to medium weight synthetics. It is resistant to sunlight and chemicals such as chlorine, making it great for swimwear, purses, and upholstery and leather goods. While you can use Leather Nylon in swimwear, it’s important to use the right type of Nylon as well. High-quality bonded nylon works best for curtains, upholstery, or even plastic, but if you’re sewing on spandex or Lycra, you may want to invest in wool nylon thread.
It has elastic and memory properties, so you’ll love it on braids and curved areas or hems. You can also get almost transparent nylon which is great for quilting, but remember that this type of nylon is not very stretchy, so use it on the right fabrics.
Polyester or cotton coated polyester is great for many projects. Unlike silk or some nylon threads, Polyester is not very flexible. It is known for its strength, low expansion and durability, and is also resistant to sunlight and moisture. High gloss polyester is well suited for machine embroidery where cotton coated polyester is excellent for both hand and machine quilting. Cotton-coated polyester is usually called “universal” or “double” fiber and has the strength of cotton and is slightly larger than polyester.
Cotton, one of our oldest natural fibers, is harvested from the cotton plant and thousands of acres of cotton are grown worldwide each year. Cotton is great for sewing on light to medium weight fabrics, but not if they are very stretchy. Regular cotton thread is not very breathable, so it will tear if you use it on a fabric that is too stretchy, like knitwear. There are several types of cotton thread. Cotton-coated polyester, which we have already mentioned, mercerized cotton or glazed cotton, and not to mention different weights.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PLEYESTER THREAD
The better the Polyester thread, the less special handling will be needed. Poor quality thread has a lot of fluff and breaks easily and can take the joy out of any sewing project. Each type of thread has specific properties and will behave differently on sewing machines. Threads are made from either natural fibers (cotton, wool, silk, linen) or synthetic fibers (rayon, polyester, nylon). While there are dozens of thread types that can be twisted and spun into threads, there are a few common threads that are used in sewing, quilting, serging, and embroidery.
- Spun Thread – Cotton or polyester staple fibers are spun into individual yarns and then twisted together.
- Corespun thread – spun cotton or polyester staple fibers are wrapped around polyester fibers.
- Textured Thread – Polyester or nylon that has been mechanically treated to make the thread combed and flexible and similar to wool. Texturing is a process used to increase the bulk and elasticity of filament yarn. The basic properties of textured yarns and products made from them are softness, fullness, a high degree of elasticity, thermal insulation and moisture removal.
- Filament thread – Shiny thread made from polyester, viscose or nylon fibers.
- Monofilament Thread – Single filament nylon or polyester filament. Polyester is highly preferred.
- Bonded Thread – To increase strength, resin is coated on the outside of the thread. This increases tensile strength and helps reduce friction. Glued threads are usually intended for upholstery and heavy duty sewing applications.
The structure of polyester thread gives it some advantages for use on sewing machines. Because it doesn’t stretch and pull as much as natural thread, polyester-based thread is easier to use in the sewing machine and generally requires less fine-tuning of the sewing machine than cotton thread. Polyester dye does not run, which is beneficial for embroidery applications where the polyester thread is in contact with fabric colors that can be ruined by accidental dye.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE USING POLYESTER THREAD
Polyester thread looks feels and sews like nylon. You can’t tell the difference just by looking, and the technical specifications like strength and stretch are very similar. This means polyester performs as well as nylon in most applications including: upholstery, leather goods, automotive, banners and flags, sporting goods, dog collars, horse saddles and harnesses, knife sheaths, gun holsters, fishing lures and briefcases. This manual specifically discusses industrial polyester thread, also known as polyester filament or bonded polyester filament.
When choosing polyester threads, understanding the terminology, uses, limitations and sizes is one of the most important aspects in order to make the best possible choice. Polyester works better than nylon when you are sewing things that are exposed to sunlight (UV rays) and moisture for long periods of time. This means it is a better choice for sewing anything that will be used outdoors most of the time. It is important to distinguish between long-term and occasional use. For example, a tent used for annual camping can be made of either nylon or polyester; the tent in which the field operation is located for the season should be sewn from polyester.
Polyester thread has excellent UV resistance, but does not provide maximum UV resistance. Expensive, plastic-looking brands like Sunbrella and Tenara, which come with a replacement guarantee, outperform regular polyester. There are also improved UV-treated polyester and nylon threads that perform better. It does not matter if the sewn material is not equally resistant to bleaches and sunlight. After all, the material makes up at least 90% of the content and costs of the sewn item.
Polyester fiber is strong enough for the types of applications described so far. However, it is a poor choice for high-stress applications such as conveyor belts, as it can stretch up to 26% before breaking. In terms of size, Kevlar thread is about twice as strong as and much more expensive than nylon or polyester. For example, size 92 polyester has a tensile strength of 14.5 pounds; Kevlar in this size has a tensile strength of 30 pounds. Kevlar also only stretches 2% before breaking.
Polyester thread can be in the form of plastics and fibers. Polyester materials are the polymers that make up unbreakable plastic bottles that contain bottled water and soft drinks. And you know those luxurious balloons with cute messages? They are also made of polyester, more specifically a sandwich composed of Mylar and aluminum foil. Our Glitter thread is made from a similar mylar/polyester blend. The most common type of polyester for fiber purposes is polyethylene terephthalate, or simply PET.