Top Tips – Thread Weights

Our brand new Mettler thread stand arrived a few days ago with great heraldry from, well, mostly me. I had been waiting for a thread stand for 15 weeks by the time it got here. We cancelled our first order with another supplier due to all manner of inefficiencies and were delighted when our main fabric supplier stepped up to the breach and got us our stunning range of Mettler threads in just three weeks.

I was then surprised at a slightly mixed reception from some quilters who were concerned about Metler threads breaking in their machines…and so I did some extra research for you on threads in general. I do understand that Gutermann seem to have become a ‘standard’ but I can promise that Metler are just as excellent (they use long strand Egyptian cotton which is really the best type of cotton that you can sew with) and neither thread will cause you any problems in your machine if you follow a few simple rules:

As a general rule – the lower the number of the weight of thread, the higher the number on the needle.

  • So a 30 wt thread (suitable for embroidery and quilting, but not for general sewing) is best used with a 100/16 – 110/18 needle size. Also consider using quilting needles for your machine.
  • 40 wt threads are a little thicker than normal sewing threads, and although you can use them for general sewing, they are best used for embroidery and quilting. Use a 80/12 – 90/14 needle for them.
  • A 50 wt thread (either in polyester or cotton) is used for general sewing; cotton for patchwork, poly for anything else, and will need a 80/12 – 90/14 needle.
  • A 60 wt thread is best used when you need to do fine piecing, fine embroidery and other detailed work. Use a 70/10 – 80/12 needle.
  • And then there are specialist threads up to 100wt which I am currently testing in my machine at home with a view to getting them in for the shop – more news in a few weeks – but these need a 70/10 needle.
  • Then of course don’t forget that metallic threads need a metallic needle. Sometimes the obvious makes all the difference 🙂

If you are ever unsure or concerned, please do talk to us in the shop and we will do our best to help.

NB Do you ever question exactly why a brand becomes a household name? Yes the product has to be good, but there is always a large marketing budget behind it. No, that’s not me being cynical, that’s the reality that I can share with you from nearly 30 years in marketing. I’ve always taken the view that the No 2 brand will always work harder at producing a product that’s at least equal to or better than the No 1 brand. Think Samsung phones vs Apple phones. Apple are the No 1 brand, Samsung actually sell more phones. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *