5 Easy ways to tell if you’re using a high-quality cotton thread (part 1 of 2)
Posted: 30 June 2014 at 6 a.m.
You can feel the quality difference when driving an economy car versus a luxury ride. This same principle applies to the thread world. There are dozens of thread brands and hundreds of thread types and it’s important to know if you are getting the high-quality cotton thread you want and need to keep your gorgeous projects together. To help distinguish between low-quality cotton thread and high-quality cotton thread, we’ve put together 5 points to help you choose the best.
1. Low Lint
- If the cotton thread is very fuzzy or has “slubs” (clumps of excess lint spun into the thread), it is not a high-quality thread. Excess fuzz affects the quality of your seam due to the extra bulk that it has. On the other extreme, if your cotton is extremely smooth with absolutely no fuzz—it’s not made to go through your machine. The only way this is achieved is with a wax or glaze coating to cover the thread. Glazed threads are great for hand quilting, as the waxed coating gives the thread extra strength, but if used in a machine, the wax will rub off between your machine’s tension discs and can gum up the interior components. That’s not very fun!
2. Smooth, even twists with no slubs
- One way thread is measured for quality is by the number of twists-per-meter. A loosely-twisted thread requires less total fiber content, requires less time to produce, and is therefore, less expensive to manufacture. ‘Regular’ cotton thread may have as few as 150 twists-per-meter (Think of a budget thread that can easily be untwisted by rubbing it between your fingers). Superior’s Cotton Threads have nearly 7 times that amount. A high twist-per-meter count means a stronger, less lint, and even wind. If you can run your fingers along the thread and feel a smooth, tight twist, you’re using a quality thread.
Return tomorrow for the remaining 3 easy ways to tell if you're using a high-quality thread.