Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Thread Education

Which thread(s) to use in my long arm machine has been the topic that I have in recent months spent the most time researching and educating myself about. I've been online for hours and hours trying to figure out which brands and weights are not only the best for my machine but which ones also produce the best results without emptying my wallet.  There are so many options that I find it all extremely
CONFUSING
 beyond imagination!
Obviously what I don't want to buy is any thread that other Voyager 17 owners haven't been able to use in their machines successfully most of the time and since I'll likely be ordering my thread 99% of the time online, I want to be able to stick with a few tried and true choices instead of bouncing all over the place. I want to be able to develop relationships with a few great shops that I can count on to carry what I want and need and provide excellent customer service.

Besides ease of use and overall appearance, price is the next consideration. More expensive doesn't always mean better and it is nice to be able to get the same results with a thread that also doesn't break the bank. Being an accountant of course cost matters a lot to me so I did a price comparison of some of the popular long arm thread options that I thought I'd share with you here. I'm only going to mention commonly used cotton and poly threads and not the specialty threads that aren't used as often such as metallic, glow in the dark, monopoly, etc.

This list will include the best retail price that I have found on the web and the cost per yard. Since all the cones have different quantities of yards on them, it is best for comparison to break it down by cost per yard. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of buying wholesale so if you do, you'll need to recalculate these yourself.

Cotton 40 weight
*Signature $.00231 per yard, 3,000 yards, from Heart Beat Quilting
*Signature $.00199 per yard, 6,000 yards, from Heart Beat Quilting
*King Tut (the solids, the variegated and the tonal) $.00874 per yard, 2,000 yards from Sew Thankful

Cotton Variegated 40 weight
*Harmony $.00619 per yard, 3,000 yards, from Bobbin Central
*Signature $.00431 per yard, 3,000 yards, from Heart Beat Quilting

Cotton/Poly 40 weight
*Signature $.00198 per yard, 3,000 yards, from Heart Beat Quilting
*Signature $.00182 per yard, 6,000 yards, from Heart Beat Quilting
*T40 $.00274 per yard, 6,000 yards, from Bobbin Central

Cotton 50 weight
*Cairo Quilt $.00433 per yard, 3,007 yards, from Bobbin Central
*Masterpiece 3 Ply only $.00759 per yard, 2500 yards, from Sew Thankful 
 
Poly 40 weight
*Glide $.00124 per yard, 5,000 yards, from Bobbin Central
*Isocord $.00236 per yard, 5,468 yards, from Sew For Less
*Omni $.00191 per yard, 6,000 yards, from Longarm Store
*Permacore $.00150 per yard, 6,000 yards, from Heart Beat Quilting
 
Poly Variegated 40 weight
*Affinity $.00655 per yard, 3,000 yards, from Bobbin Central
*So Fine 40 $.00966 per yard, 1650 yards, from Longarm Supplies 
 
Poly 50 weight
*Premo Soft $.00369 per yard, 3,007 yards, from Bobbin Central
*So Fine 50 $.00365 per yard, 3,280 yards, from Sew Thankful

Poly 60 weight
*Bottom Line $.00333 per yard, 3,000 yards, from Sew Thankful

Which type and weight combination will be my favorite? Who knows at this point. I'll try them all but knowing which brand is the best deal for each I know will help me a great deal in the future. When I see a great sale I'll be able to stock up. I always say...saving money is never a bad thing. 

8 of you added your own colorful comments:

  1. That is, truly, invaluable research you've done for all of us!!! My HQ Sweet Sixteen "plays well" with any thread and thread combo (top/bobbin) that I've tried! Have been using more and more of the poly and lovin' it. There are so many that use the Bottom Line thread in the bobbin and are thrilled with the results so will have to scope that out. I do a lot of feather FMQ so try to use the finer threads to prevent the "thready" look. Thanks so much for your post!!!! Hugs......

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    1. You all are so welcome! Sometimes it is a burden to be such a numbers geek and need to know all the costs. LOL

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  2. What great information! I don't have a long-arm but I am always trying different threads for my FMQ. Bottom Line and So Fine work good for me and I just started trying Omni thread by Superior also. I keep meaning to buy some Glide as I have heard good things about it.

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  3. I may have just been very fortunate in my choice of machine (an Artistic 26, made by Janome) but I have never had any problem with any thread I've chosen to use. Fortunately, that includes just basic cotton thread such as that from Connecting Threads, which is much more reasonably priced than other threads out there. With all the charity quilting I do, that's a good thing! Good luck with all your research, but don't neglect lesser priced threads simply because "if it costs more, it must be better!"

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  4. Wow. Thanks for sharing all this info with everyone. Priceless!

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  5. Thanks! This is a great comparison. have you seen Red Rock Threads in Nevada? They are one that I've found that have a pretty extensive collection of just about every type, and I've wanted to try ordering from them. Maybe you could check them out and see if they compare to what you've found?
    So far I've used King Tut variegated, Star cotton variegated, and Coats and Clark's White Cones (mostly for practice). I also have used Superior Bottom Line in top and bobbin at once, and in the bobbin with a Metrosene poly in the top. But I am using my domestic machine. Keep sharing!

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  6. What a wonderful informative list Michele - thank you! blessings, marlene

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I enjoy reading each and every comment that you share. And isn't that what it is all about....sharing.