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Is There A Difference In Sewing Thread Brands?
You Be The Judge!

Dateline: 10/21/00
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Is there a difference in quality among the various brands of sewing thread on the market?

When you are having problems with your sewing machine, after you've been asked if you changed the machine needle, the next question is very often, "Are you using a good quality sewing thread?" For years I told myself there was no difference in thread and I was going to save money by buying the five spools for a dollar type. Today almost any reputable sewing machine dealer will tell you to use only high quality thread. Why would it make a difference?

As thread is guided through the sewing machine it passes through many eye openings and through tension disks. All the places that the thread travels have a purpose in maintaining the sewing machines tension. In most of the newer machines on the market the tension disks are hidden inside a plastic cover. This protects the disks from dust and damage, but it also does not allow you to see what may be happening. If you aren't purchasing quality thread, you may be damaging the disks. Eventually you could have problems with the machine maintaining an even tension as you sew.

I've seen mail lists go on for weeks over what thread is the best. I'm one of those people who love a bargain and cut as many corners as possible, but at the same time I want a quality finished product. I set out to find out just how much difference there is in some of the thread I have around the house. Below you will find views of various thread as seen through a microscope at 60X. As you view the various types of thread, think about how the thread passes through fabric and how the loose fibers, being stuck in the fabric, will weaken what is left of the thread.

Seeing is believing! Are you going to take the chance on the investment you have made in a sewing machine and the time element that you invest in making any item? Don't miss the Embroidery And Specialty Thread Comparisons.

Excell All Purpose thread
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from a spool labeled Excell 100% Polyester. It was purchased from a 5 for a dollar bin and after seeing all the loose fibers that can cause problems I now understand why the price was so inexpensive.
Mettler's Silk Finsh Cotton
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from a spool of Mettler's Silk Finish 100% mercerized cotton. There were very few loose fibers.
Coats Cotton Thread
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This is a sample from a spool of Coats And Clark 100% cotton thread.
Lucky Strike Cotton Thread
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from an industrial spool of Lucky Strike 100% Cotton Thread. You can see how much looser the fibers are wound and how many straying fibers there are.
Coats Dual Duty Thread - purchased 6/16/04 @ Wal-Mart Kingston NY
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from a spool of Coats And Clark Dual Duty - All Purpose Thread. I was surprised at all the loose fibers that can knot and wear at a sewing machines' tension disks, as well as cause weak spots in seams.
Guttermen Polyester thread
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from a spool of Guttermann 100% polyester thread. This is one of the more expensive threads on the market and has a lot less loose fibers than the bargain brands.
Mettler polyester thread
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from a spool labeled Mettler Metrosene Plus 100% Polyester. I was impressed with the lack of loose fibers.
TrueSew polyester Thread
This is a sample from a spool labeled Trusew 100% Spun Polyester. It was purchased from a bargain bin and I found excessive loose fibers through out the spool.
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
Talon Superlock Polyester thread
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from a cone of serger thread labeled Talon Superlock 100% Spun Polyester. Although the quality is better than the bargain brands, I don't think I will be using the cone holder to use this thread on my electronic machines any more.
Molnlycke Polyester thread
Click the photo for an enlarged view.
This sample is from a cone spool of Molnlycke 100% Polyester Thread. The wrapper had a "Better Qualtiy" sticker on it and did not have as many loose fibers as other polyester threads.

Click Here To see microscope views of various Embroidery and Specialty Threads

Click Here To see microscope views of Thread submitted By Nan Williams (FuFu Polyester, Maxi Lock Serger and Isacord)

Click Here To see microscope views of Thread submitted By Martha Sullivan (Iris Rayon, The Finishing Touch Rayon)

Click Here To see microscope views of Thread submitted By Barbara Bain (Cansew, Wooly Nylon, Maderia, Janome And Click Here for page 2 (Mettler, Gutteman, Signature, Talon)
Click Here To see microscope views of Thread added 07/13/01 (large assorted variety)
Click Here To see microscope views of Thread added 07/12/01 (large assorted variety)

Click here For Thread Information And Sources
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