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Notions & Tools: The Fabric, Thread and Needle Connection


We think it should be easy, after all it's just putting together the three same things we use to sew and quilt. Anyone have any aspirin laying around? New fabrics, different threads, and enough needles to keep us, well... speechless.

This chart is by no means complete (as long as there is new stuff, nothing is really complete), but we think it's a pretty good way through the maze. And just in case you couldn't tell, I really love silk thread.

Fabric Thread Needle
  General Purpose Top Stitching Machine Handwork
Very lightweight: Batiste, Chiffon, Organza, Voile and similar fabrics Very fine, embroidery, silk Very fine, embroidery, silk 9/65 9 - 12
Lightweight: Challis, Chambray, Crepe/Crepe de Chine, Eyelet, Gauze, Georgette, Interlock, Jersey, Seersucker, Silk, Taffeta and similar fabrics All purpose blends and 100% natural threads including silk All purpose blends and 100% natural threads including silk 11/75 8 or 9
Medium-weight: Broadcloth, brocade, chino, chintz, corduroy, flannel, linen, pique, satin, shantung, suiting, sweatshirt, swimsuit, terry, velour, velvet and similar fabrics All purpose blends and 100% natural threads including silk Topstitching, buttonhole and twists, heavy silk 11/75 or 14/90 7 or 8
Medium-to-Heavyweight: denim, double knit, drapery, fake-fur, fleece, gabardine, leather, quilted, ticking, twill, upholstery and similar fabrics Topstitching, buttonhole, twists, heavy silk, upholstery Topstitching, buttonhole, twists, heavy silk, upholstery 14/90 or 16/100 6
Heavyweight: canvas, ducking, sailcloth, upholstery and similar fabrics Topstitching, buttonhole, twists, and upholstery Topstitching, buttonhole, twists, and upholstery 18/110 1 - 5
Specific Sewing Thread Needle
Quilting by Hand Cotton or blend hand quilting Hand Quilting Betweens
7 - 12
Quilting by Machine Cotton, poly-blend, silk, fine embroidery,
and monofilament
Machine 14/90
Applique by Hand Cotton, poly-blend, silk Hand Quilting Betweens
8 - 10
Applique by Machine Rayon, silk, embroidery, cotton, poly-blend Machine 11/75
Machine Embroidery Rayon, silk, embroidery, cotton, poly-blend Machine 11/75
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