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Working with Different Kinds of Thread

Whether you're sewing, doing cross stitch or any other kind of craft using thread, this comprehensive guide will come in handy. Learn about the differences between all the different types of thread.


  • 100% Cotton Thread isn’t used as often as in the old days because stronger, more durability threads are available. But for the purist, all cotton thread is still popular. This thread creates soft stitches and comes in several weights needed to sew different fabrics. There is little give or stretch to this type of thread. Best used on natural fiber woven fabrics.
  • Cotton Covered Polyester Core is the most commonly used all-purpose thread. The polyester core provides strength and stretch while the cotton outer layer gives easier sew-ability.
  • Floss is usually 6 strands of twisted thread and commonly used for cross-stitch. You can untwist and separate the floss.
  • 100% Polyester Thread has good strength with the important ability to stretch and bounce back. It is recommended for knits and sews well with wovens. Inferior polyester will appear fuzzy and produce lint. Quality long staple polyester makes a good substitute for silk thread.
  • Silk Ribbon is a narrow width ribbon used for stitching that has wonderful effects including an upscale look and feel.
  • Silk Thread is made from long continuous filament fibers resulting in strong and lustrous thread that can stretch easily. Quality silk thread is more expensive than other threads, but worth the price for heirloom clothing and tailoring.
  • Raffia is a straw like natural material that comes in lengths and can be split for even thinner width and can be used as a thread.
  • Rayon Thread is lustrous like silk, but is less durable. Use it as a substitute for silk in decorative work.
  • Nylon Thread (monofilament) is strong and semi-transparent. It is designed for sewing nylon tricot and other lingerie fabrics. Avoid using a very hot iron on nylon thread.
  • Metallic Threads are for decorative use. They should be used with a larger sized needle, an all-purpose thread in the bobbin, and sew slowly. Fiber content may be 60 percent polyester and 40 percent metallic.
  • Basting Thread is a soft, weak lightweight thread made especially for easy removal.
  • Serger Threads are designed for high-speed sewing. Slightly finer in size than other threads it has a special finish for higher speed sewing. It is available on cones, king or compact tubes.


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Cute Crochet Macarons

For those who love to crochet, not much is sweeter than that place where desserts and crafting intersect, like with these cute crochet… See more

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