Oliveborden.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on this site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Choosing the Right Thread for Sewing [All You Need to Know]

Being the most critical sewing requirement, you must carefully choose your thread and keep many factors in mind. You should choose the right threads based on the type of the material, the color of the fabric, the nature of the work, and the desired level of durability. Nonetheless, the basic rule is to have a high-quality thread that remains free from mess.

How to Choose the Right Color of Thread?

The right color of the thread should be chosen based on the type of work. For standard sewing, the thread color should match exactly with that of the cloth, while for special decorative works like edge sewing and topstitching, the thread color should be either dark or contrast to that of the fabric.

When stitching the cut pieces of the cloth material, the thread’s color must be chosen such that it completely blends into the fabric.

This can be accomplished by unraveling the thread and placing it against the cloth to check how well it disappears into its color.

If the cloth is single-colored, then the exact match will be the yarn with the same tint. If the cloth is multi-colored, you may have to choose the thread in the same color as the dominant one.

Further, if the material has numerous colored prints against the same background, it would be a better idea to match the thread color with that background.

The perfect match between the color of the thread and the fabric help in making the seam go invisible, as expected by darning or hemming like applications.

Nevertheless, in surface embellishing like tasks, the sews are demanded to be ‘visible.’ This can be done by choosing the thread whose color gets well pronounced against the fabric.

What Are Some Common Types of Thread?

Some common thread types often used in sewing applications are cotton thread, cotton-wrapped polyester thread, polyester thread, heavy-duty thread, silk thread, and metallic thread.

Cotton thread is a low sheen thread characterized by little stretchability and a matte look. It suits the best for medium-weight cotton, rayon, and linen cloths for embroidery, quilting, heirloom sewing, and patchworking.

A polyester thread is a strong thread that suits all kinds of stitching. It is stretchable, multi-colored, resistant to heat and mold, and easily slips through the cloth layers.

Cotton-wrapped polyester is a low lustered thread whose strength falls between that of cotton and polyester threads. Heavy-duty thread is a polyester-made medium-strength yarn.

It well caters to the demand of most home-sewing applications, but not those of the garment or industrial level.

Silk thread is a highly lustrous, good strength thread that is much smoother than others. It suits well for stitching silk or wool and can be used for decoration purposes.

The metallic thread will have a thin metal wrapped around the actual yarn to make it much strong. It is available in gold, silver, and copper variations and can be used with specific kinds of needles only.

How to Choose the Right Thread Type for Your Project? The General Criteria

You should choose the right thread type for your project based on the type of fabric, and the nature of the desired sew. Nonetheless, opt for standard quality threads to obtain high-quality stitches.  

Threads should match the type of fabric in terms of size, weight, texture, and color. High tensile threads are to be chosen while handling bulky materials to ensure strong sews.

On the contrary, for sewing normal clothes, either polyester or cotton threads would suffice.

Usually, cotton yarn is preferred for natural fibrous materials, while polyester being the popular choice for synthetics.

To create high aesthetic designs for silk materials, you might go for silk yarn and choose the cotton thread to ensure a smooth texture like the one desired for a baby quilt.

However, the chosen yarn should be easy to be pulled through the needle’s eye. This is critical to ensure easy flow of the thread to result in even stitches while avoiding problems like needle breaking and bobbin unwinding.

So, to ensure hassle-free stitching, make sure your thread is smooth, twist-resistant, non-fuzzy, and nub-free!

What Thread Can Be Used on a Serger?

Polyester threads are the most frequently used threads on Serger as they are finer, flexible, durable, fuzz-free, and strong. However, nylon, wooly nylon, and cotton threads also suit to be used on the Serger machines. Specifically speaking, Maxi-Lock Serger thread, Coats and Clock Sure-Lock Overlock thread, IZO Home Goods and Gutermann Serger thread, Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger thread, and Mettler Seracor Serger thread make a good choice over Serger.

These are strong, high-quality, multi-colored threads that produce smooth, superior-quality, evenly spaced stitches on various fabrics.

However, each of these is characterized by certain unique characteristics too. Maxi-Lock Serger suits the best for lightweight knits, and Gutermann Serger is ravel-resistant and can accomplish 3-4 overlock sergers.

Coats & Clock Sure-Lock Overlock thread is best suited for sewing and embroidery, while IZO Home Goods is preferred for merrows and overlocks.

Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger thread is good for daily sewing, and Mettler Seracor Serger better suits for hems and creates long-lasting seams that remain intact even after multiple washes.

How to Choose the Serger Thread?

Serger thread needs to be chosen based on the type of material, the fabric’s color, the cloth’s texture, and the price. Depending on the type of work, the thread needs to be varied in strength, color, and weight.

Polyester is the most popular thread type and suits all kinds of fabrics. Nylon and wooly nylon are good for elastic fibrous materials like swimwear; however, cotton and poly-wrapped poly care suit normal stitching-like applications.

Serger thread should be smooth enough to facilitate easy navigation, and their colors should be chosen depending on the color of the fabric. However, it is important to have good quality serger thread to avoid unnecessary mess.