Honestly, when I choose thread for a new project my main criteria is matching color. I’ve never stopped to think about the differences between brands and what’s right for what project until today when I decided to do a little research into the different types of thread and wow is there a lot of information out there!
To help you choose what thread you’d like while you’re standing in the fabric store, I decided to make a little guide to the most familiar brands and their different lines of thread. I’ll include some links at the bottom to more information.
- Dual-Duty All Purpose
I mentioned way back in this post that this is the only brand of thread that I’ve really used since I started learning to sew. This thread has a polyester core wrapped in polyester, and polyester thread typically is good for a wide variety of fabrics including synthetics. The polyester core gives it elasticity so the seams can work with stretchy fabric, and the polyester wrapping makes it glide easily through fabric as you sew. I have never had any problems with this thread, though I did find some claims that their sewing machines reject its cheapness. I still say it’s a good choice for a beginner!
- Gutermann Sew-All
This brand is one of the more expensive options at your typical fabric store. As you can see from the picture, it is also 100% polyester. Reviews of this brand say that it is more durable than Coats and Clark, and the thread is more tightly woven so that there are fewer loose strands that can cause issues on a machine. I recommend that if or when you move from hand-sewing to machine sewing, if you’re ready to make the investment this might be a better choice for more serious projects.
The first time I went to buy thread at the fabric store, I picked up Sulky because it had the closest color to my fabric. Luckily one of the employees thought to ask what I was using the thread for, and I told her I was learning to sew. She told me Sulky is best used for embroidery and isn’t intended to hold seams together. If you’re interested in embroidery, this thread is made from rayon which will lay flat where cotton threads may stand up. It’s displayed in stores right next to all-purpose threads so don’t be fooled! Unless you’re doing embroidery it’s not for you!
- Mettler Silk Finish Cotton Thread
This thread is a popular choice among quilters and is intended to be used to sew cotton fabrics. Cotton thread can also be used on linen and rayon, but should not be used on woven fabrics because it won’t have enough elasticity. This thread in particular gets very good reviews for both machine and hand sewing, but it is on the pricey side compared to some of your other options. I say make this purchase after you’ve built up some skill and are ready to make the investment!
So that’s just a look at some of the more common threads you’ll find if you shop in the mainstream fabric stores. I recommend as a beginner that you stick with Coats and Clark for now because it’s inexpensive but still pretty good quality for your beginner projects. When I’m ready to upgrade to a better quality brand I think my next move will be to Gutermann, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!
Here are some more links if you’d like more details. Most of these sort their information by the material used to make the thread:
How to Choose the Right Sewing Thread // Types of Sewing Thread
Is There a Difference in Sewing Threads? >> This one is great because it includes microscopic images of each brand!