Friday, May 11, 2012


The quilting blogisphere is chock full of chats and comments about thread, the different brands, the different weights, the different finishes.

I'm sew confused. Are you too?

Aurifil? Floriani? Guterman? Isacord? Mettler? Signature? Presencia? Superior? YLI? Sulky? Wonderfil?

These are just some of the names I've seen floating around the web. I've used Coates and Clark (my pre-quilting days) and I use Guterman now. My LQS only carries Mettler but I haven't tried it.  A gift of a spool of Presencia came my way but I haven't had a project in that colorway to use it on yet. I wanted to try Auriful but no one around here carries it. Luckily I found it during the NJ Shop Hop.

But what are the differences in these brands? This inquiring mind wants to know. Really. I want to use good products in my quilts but I certainly don't need to use the most expensive thread that exists. If one brand is honestly superior to the others, I want to know that. Perhaps a better thread would help my machine perform nicer.

Might you have the knowledge I seek? Or might you know where I can learn about this important quilting topic?

What brand thread do you use and why? What others have you tried and if you don't use them any more, tell me what happened?

And I've always read that quilters should always use cotton thread but I know of a famous quilt blogger who uses poly thread. That confuses me even more.

Help a girl out here. Please!

6 of you added your own colorful comments:

Vicki said...

You might like to check out Superior Threads web site
They make threads of various sizes and fibers and they have lots of educational documents about thread and its application All of it free I love their Masterpiece for piecing
My machine doesn't like Gutterman or
Mettler too lint producing

Rachel said...

My experience....Keep in mind I am a "by the seat of your pants" kind of girl. I have used many brands of thread.For me it comes down to what machine I am using. I have 3 machines. I will call them #1, #2 & #3 (original, right? LOL)#1, she is fussy. Not fond of lint, needs a strong thread. I use essential cottons from Connecting Threads and Gutermann in her. She likes essentials better. #2, not fussy at all. a "bring it on" kind of machine.#3 I have not had long enough to know if she will be thread fussy. Bottom line (again, for me) is I don't really pay attention to weights. I am color first, then I play with what works. I know if I put coats in #1 it will lead to frustration, so I don't do it. LOL. Of the brands mentioned above I have tried 7 out of the 11. To be honest, none have performed "better" (for ME) than the essentials, which is MUCH cheaper and more readily available. I do add Gutermann to my world, mostly for specific colors (again, more readily available, but pricier than essentials). I will also say that I don't like to fuss. I don't want to sit and figure what settings I need for what thread in what situation. I am lazy. I want to turn it on and go. I know this isn't much help in figuring the mess of thread out, but this is what my world looks like :-)

Annie said...

I think it's all talked up too much. And much of the time it's about a product being promoted. Such as, here, I'll give you thread for life if you say it's the best in the west. Back in the day, none of these fancy products and fabrics existed, yet many of the quilts and needleworks have survived to our modern day times. Amazing when you listen today to what product promoters tell you you need to use in order for your creations to become tomorrow's heirlooms. It's got to make you wonder how our heirlooms of today got here without all these special products. For me it seems more a brainwashing system and guilt induced trickery that too many people are buying into it. My machine sews beautifully no matter what I thread it with. There you go Michele, absolutely no help at all. LOL Good luck on your quest.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I LOVE thread - almost more than fabric. They all have their purpose and each brand does have their own web site and can tell you what each is used for. I like Mettler and Guterman for hand quilting only. YLI is my favorite for top thread when machine quilting. Sulky for machine quilting or hand - love their silk thread for applique and thread painting. Connecting Threads PRO line is great for piecing, top and bottom line machine quilting - and their Egyption Cotton I use a lot for piecing. Pearl Cotton #5 or #8 for large stitch hand quilting. Even DMC for hand quilting.

I recommend you just try one spool of something new - not all machines like some brands - my Brothers are fussy, but my Janome could care less what I put thru her. And none of them will work with Aurifil.

Diane-crewe said...

I do not think I can help with this... I go with the colour I like and the money in the purse!! x

Melinda said...

Okay, my two cents (which is worth about that!) is that you find what works in your machine. I used C&C forever (and still do cause it's cheap and I can pick it up easily from Hobby Lobby). However, I have used Gutterman and Mettler because I picked up some at an estate sale of a quilter who passed away. I did notice a difference in the amount of lint created and I didn't notice breakage. I have not tried any other types. I have not noticed as big a difference in threads as I have in fabrics. The biggest has been lint production so far. My BIGGEST hint is to match weight from top to bobbin. I screwed up and used different weights on a recent twin because I wanted blue on the bottom but didn't have it in the weight I was using. Big mistake!