do the numbers on thread
There are two numbers listed
on thread spools: the first number
indicates the weight and
the second number
is the number of strands
that are plied together.
For example 80/3 mean
that the thread is a finer
stand (80) used for heirloom
work, and that there are
(3) fibers strands twisted
Several things could be at work here. First the best needle to use is a 16 denim. Second be sure you aren't 'pulling' the fabric through the feed-dogs - that is certainly easy enough to do without realizing it (speaking from way to much experience here!) Third, be careful to go slow enough when sewing over bulky seams. This is where I usually break most needles. I've even hand turned the sewing machine on some particularly nasty seam overlaps. If you're still having problems, you can use a size 19 - though they're harder to find.
the most commonly used thread
That's easy, a polyester thread.
It's multipurpose, holds up to
washing and drying well, can
be used across many different
project with excellent results,
and comes in a ton of different
and vibrant colors.
about for decorative sewing?
For topstitching, satin stitches,
decorative embroidery, and button
holes, the choice should be a mercerized
cotton thread. That means
the thread has been treated with
a chemical that improves the
luster or sheen, and increases
the strand strength. Because
it's a cotton thread it's softer
and more manageable than the
polyester threads. When you're
sewing a satin stitch for example,
you want those threads to lay
nice and flat and spread out
for coverage. Cotton thread will
do that for you beautifully.
fabric store is having a
great sale on thread: 5 spools
for $1 - how many should
I pick up?
That depends on how long you
want your garment to last; One
washing or more? A POX on that
thread! This thread is made from
the fiber remnants, and not true
fiber strands. Think of the stuff
you pull from your clothes dryer
lint filter - now spin it into
thread. You get the idea.
the other thread costs so
Yes it does - when compared to
the 5 for $1 stuff. It also means
that all the work you've put
into your project is going to
be worth it. I'm afraid it goes
back to the adage of 'you get
what you pay for'. How much do
you value your work?
can I tell a better thread?
If you don't know brand names,
look at the way the thread is wound on
the spool. All the better threads
are wound in a crosswise pattern.
This design travels up and down
the spool or cone of thread.
Why? Because it helps reduce
the stress on the wound thread,
and gives a nice constant tension.
(If only I could relieve my stress
as easily!) My old PFAFF would
only sew with the very good thread
- she was extremely particular.
else I need to remember?
Let's see...always use the same type of
thread for your top stitch and
your bobbin - this is one case
of mixing and matching really
not working. Don't be a speed
demon when you wind your
bobbin, it's just like the stress
issue on the wound spool thread.
Slow and steady. But most important,
don't be afraid to experiment
with different threads. Besides
who can resist all those colors?