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Sewing Thread Types: Choosing the Perfect Thread for Your Project (2023)

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types of thread choosing the right thread for your sewing projectEver looked at all the spools of threads available and wondered ‘which is the right thread for my project?’

There are so many options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed!

But I’m here to help.

I’ve got the stitch knowledge to guide you in choosing the perfect thread for your sewing needs.

With some basic info — like fiber content, thread weight, and intended use — you can zero in on the types of thread that will work best.

We’ll look at cotton threads, polyester embroidery floss, delicate tatting cottons, heavyweight quilting threads, and more.

I’ll share trusted thread brand names, plus tips on matching needle and thread sizes.

With the right know-how, you’ll be ready to select the ideal thread to give your sewing projects a flawless finish.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the appropriate thread type for your fabric.
  • Match the needle size to the fabric weight.
  • Consider using titanium or chrome needles to reduce friction.
  • Select high-quality thread brands for smooth sewing and durability.

Choosing the Right Thread for Your Project

Choosing the Right Thread for Your Project
You’ll want to consider several factors when selecting thread for your sewing projects. Different thread types like cotton, embroidery, tatting, and quilting threads each have distinct properties that make them suitable for certain fabrics and techniques.

With knowledge of thread characteristics and intended uses, you can confidently choose the ideal thread to achieve a high-quality finished product.

Cotton Thread Types

You’d match lightweight cottons and linens with matte cotton thread, though it tends to shrink and break.

  • Use cotton threads for hand sewing or handwork projects on cottons and linens. Match the thread thickness to the needle size so it moves smoothly through the eye.
  • Thicker cotton fabric needs thicker cotton thread so the stitches don’t get lost in the weave.
  • Keep an assortment of cotton thread sizes on hand for garments, quilts, and household items made from woven natural fibers.

Embroidery Thread

When embroidering, use stranded cotton thread for its sheen and durability. Opt for embroidery floss with six strands so you can separate and use fewer strands for delicate details. Silk and wool threads add dimension, while polyester resists fading. Embrace creative techniques like couching thicker yarns or mixing metallics into designs.

Tatting Cotton Thread

Using tatting cotton, minimize twisting and knotting by working with a single shuttle and ball winder.

  1. Opt for softer mercerized cotton or Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread with a glazed finish.
  2. Work with quality brands like DMC or Coats & Clark.
  3. Select a #10 thread or finer for detailed patterns.

Tatting cotton thread creates beautiful lacework. With practice, you’ll master the shuttle and needle motions to craft heirloom doilies, edgings, and jewelry.

Quilting Thread Types

For piecing and quilting, a good all-purpose cotton or cotton-wrapped polyester thread provides the strength to withstand repeated laundering while matching most fabric types. Coordinating thread colors to your quilt’s palette makes seams disappear, and using variegated or specialty threads adds interest for appliqué and decorative stitching.

Adjusting tensions prevents puckering, and matching thread weight to needle and fabric type prevents breakage during quilting.

Brands of Sewing Thread

Brands of Sewing Thread
Don’t get caught up in flashy marketing – stick with reputable sewing brands like Gutermann and Mettler for quality thread. When selecting thread, look for smooth fibers that resist twisting and jamming in your machine.

Brands like Gutermann and Mettler use quality control in manufacturing and source the best materials.

Lesser-known brands may be cheaper, but the quality suffers. With thread, you get what you pay for. Investing in premium brands means excellent stitch formation, colorfastness, tensile strength, and abrasion resistance.

Quality threads like Mettler and Gutermann glide smoothly, so you can sew faster with fewer snags.

For trouble-free sewing and professional results, use industry leaders like Gutermann and Mettler. Their experience and expertise create superior, colorfast threads that quietly do their job without frustrating breaks or tangles.

Sewing Machine Needles

Sewing Machine Needles
You gotta pick needles like you’d pick a prom date – match ’em to the fabric for the perfect partnership! Choosing the right needle for your fabric is crucial for smooth sewing.

  1. Needle type – universal, ballpoint, stretch, embroidery, quilting, etc. Pick for fabric weight and type.
  2. Needle size – higher numbers for heavier fabrics, lower for lighter. Match thread weight too.
  3. Needle point – sharp for wovens, round for knits to avoid snags.
  4. Coating – titanium or chrome plates reduce friction.
  5. Brand – quality needles like Schmetz glide smoothly.

With the right needle, you’ll sail through sewing projects feeling like you just slow danced into prom night victory! A perfectly paired needle helps prevent skipped stitches, broken threads, and snagged fabric.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What size spool of thread should I buy for my project?

Buy a smaller spool to start. You can always get more thread if needed, but large spools may tangle and go to waste. Trust your gut on the amount – it’s a personal choice based on your project scope.

How can I prevent my thread from breaking or shredding while I’m sewing?

Make sure your thread tension is balanced. Use high-quality thread and change your needle frequently. Ensure that the needle size matches the thread. Check for any burrs in the needle plate or hook that could catch the thread.

Should I wind my thread onto a bobbin before sewing or thread directly from the spool?

Sew directly from the spool to prevent breakage and uneven unwinding. Feeding thread through the machine and applying tension to the upper thread produces a stable stitch. Use bobbins for specialty techniques. Otherwise, winding thread beforehand burdens workflow and risks damage.

How do I clean built-up lint and fuzz from my thread spools?

Wind the thread onto another spool, brush the spools with a stiff brush, wipe them with rubbing alcohol, and store the thread in sealed bags after cleaning.

Can I use the same thread in my bobbin as I do in my upper thread?

Yes, you can use the same thread in the bobbin as in the upper thread. Matching the thread type and weight provides even stitch tension. Polyester all-purpose thread works for most fabrics. Adjust tension if needed for even, balanced stitches.


You’ve gained valuable insight on choosing the right thread for your sewing projects. The takeaway? Match thread fiber to fabric type. Use cotton for naturals like cotton and linen. Use polyester for synthetics and blends. Explore different thread types – cotton, polyester, embroidery, quilting – to find the perfect match for your fabric and technique.

With some careful selection, you’ll have the right thread to flawlessly finish your sewing projects.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.