Choosing The Right Thread

Choosing The Right Thread

Choosing the right thread is a critical part of any sewing project. There are many types and brands available, and for the best results, you want to match your fabric and project with the right high-quality thread. Using unsuitable thread will prevent your project from looking its best, and it may cause you troubles while sewing.

Many home decor projects use upholstery fabrics. These heavy-duty fabrics (and their corresponding project seams that require a lot of strength and resilience) need a durable, versatile thread such as topstitching thread. Another heavy-duty thread is jean thread, which is meant for sewing denim and jeans, but can also be used for home decor. You can purchase jean thread in indigo or in the popular yellowish orange used as topstitching detail in many ready-to-wear jeans.

One way to choose the best thread for your project is to understand the differences between common threads:


Cotton is a good thread to use on light- to mid-weight fabrics and is best on natural fibers and rayon. Some cotton thread used for hand sewing is coated with a glaze, which makes it wonderful for hand sewing, but you should never machine sew with it — the finish will gradually wear off and can cause serious issues in your machine.


Polyester thread is a good, all-around choice for sewing because it is strong and chemical resistant, which is particularly important if your finished project will be dry-cleaned or washed with bleach. When in doubt, most people turn to a polyester thread for general sewing.


Rayon thread looks like silk thread, and its sheen makes it wonderful for decorative stitching and machine embroidery. Rayon thread is most suitable for projects that will not be bleached or frequently laundered.


Silk thread is a strong, fine thread that is perfect for sewing silk fabrics and wool. It is so fine that it does not leave holes when you remove baste stitches, and it doesn’t leave seam marks when you press. Silk thread also has a great deal of elasticity, making it suitable for knits.

Choosing the right thread for your project will ensure that the finished product lasts longer and looks its best. Remember to always match your fabric and project with the right high-quality thread.

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