Q. Dr. Bob, I was recently reading a quilting forum and one of the members of the group said that European threads have a different twist than threads made in Japan, USA or elsewhere. She stated specifically that "threads made in Italy, have the opposite twist of the Superior threads. Just look at where your thread is made and you'll have a good clue as to how it's twisted. European twist is so patented that other countries have to use the opposite twist when they manufacture their thread."
I've never heard that before. Is it true that non-european threads have an opposite twist? If so, what does that mean?
A. Unfortunately, this is misinformation. Thread twist is a subject that is often spoken about by those who don't fully understand what it means. All threads which are made for sewing and quilting machines have a final Z twist. A Z twist allows the thread to go through a machine and stay together (not untwist). Whether the sewing thread is made in Europe, USA, or Asia, if the thread is meant to go through your machine, it has a Z twist. An S twist thread has an opposite twist and these threads are made for hand stitching and for specialty two-headed sewing machines which are used almost exclusively in construction of clothing.