January 2006 Newsletter

January 2006. Happy New Year!

Education: Thread Twist
With the exception of monofilament thread, all thread has some degree of twist applied. Most threads are either two or three strands twisted together to make the final product. If a particular thread is labeled 50/2 or 50/3, the number following the slash indicates the number of plies or strands twisted together to make the final product. Each of those individual strands or plies also has multiple strands twisted together. One important component of thread quality is the number of twists applied to the thread. A loosely twisted thread will look bulky and fluffy on the spool. It will unravel and shred more easily than a tightly twisted thread. Imagine the thread moving along the thread path, through the tension discs, and through the needle. If it has a loose twist to it, it will easily be caught, pinched, or snagged. Slight snags will result in lint buildup as pieces are torn away from the thread. A strong snag or pinch will result in thread breakage. A tightly twisted thread has a smoother surface and will not get caught or snagged as easily.
Although it is never printed on labels, thread twist is measured by the number of twists applied per meter (approx. 3 feet). A loosely twisted thread requires less fiber content, takes less time to produce, and is less expensive. It may have as few as 150 twists per meter. (Think of a budget serger thread that can easily be untwisted by rubbing it between your fingers.) A quality thread will have as many as 1,200 twists per meter, resulting in a smooth, consistent surface. A higher twist also condenses more thread into the space resulting in greater strength.
Here's an exaggerated example of how proper twisting affects the quality of thread: Take a large bath towel, lay it on the floor, and measure the length. Let's say it is 48 inches long. Roll the towel length-wise so you now have a rolled towel that is still 48 inches long. Start twisting the towel. Every 3-4 twists, re-measure the length and you will notice that you lose about two inches. Continue to twist the towel another 10 turns and the towel will be only about 36 inches long. We lost 25% of the length of the towel. The result, however, is a very smoothly rolled towel. The tightly twisted towel is also much stronger than a loosely twisted towel. The more twists applied, the smoother the surface becomes.
If we start with 10,000 yds. of untwisted thread and apply a loose twist, we will end up with 9,500 yds. of thread that is not high quality. If we apply the proper twist, the final measurement will be about 7,500 yds. A quality thread requires about 20% more fiber than a low quality thread. Like most things, you get what you pay for.

Invitation to Retail Stores
If you own or work at a store that carries any of our products, please add your store information to the Store Locator on our website. Customers can find you by country, state, or zip code. We will tell the world about the your store, list all Superior products you carry, list your phone number and website, and even provide a map. Listing is free. Here's the link:

What's New
1. Three new colors of SuperBOBs are now available. colors 602 (Gold), 604 (Dark Pink), and 607 (Light Purple). We now have 24 colors of The Bottom Line on cardboard-sided prewound bobbins available in L style (for most home machines and some longarm machines) and 22 colors available in M style (Gammill, Handi Quilter). SuperBOBs are available by the dozen and by the half gross.
2. Three separate assorted-color sets of SuperBOBs are now available. Each set contains 8 colors of SuperBOBs x 9 bobbins each for a total of 72 bobbins (half gross). Set 1 is the Neutral shades, Set 2 is the Pastel shades and Set 3 is the Bright shades.
3. We currently have only half the 50 colors of MasterPiece 3,000 yd. cones in stock. 22 more colors will be in stock as of Jan. 17. They will be listed on our website the day before they are scheduled to arrive. MasterPiece by Alex Anderson is a very smooth #50/2-ply Extra-long staple Egyptian cotton thread, similar to King Tut in quality, but quite a bit finer. It is made for
* piecing
* applique
* detail quilting
* lacework
* bobbin thread
MasterPiece is available in 50 beautiful solid colors and in two spool sizes: 600 yds. and 3,000 yds. It really is nature's finest thread. MasterPiece is guaranteed to be the smoothest and cleanest non-glazed, lightweight cotton thread you've ever used. Like all of our products, MasterPiece is guaranteed. Use it and love it or we'll buy it back. Here's the link to the color chart:

Bob's Superior Joke of the Month
Mildred, the local, small-town church gossip and self-appointed monitor of morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not approve of her spying and gossip but they feared her enough to maintain their silence. She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told George and several others that everyone seeing it there would know exactly what he was doing and made it clear that she not approve. George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend or deny. Later that evening, George quietly parked his old pickup right in front of Mildred's house and walked home.

Thank you for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day.
Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor

Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.

Copyright 2006 by Superior Threads. If you wish to reprint the Education portion of this newsletter, authorization is hereby granted as long as the source is clearly cited as follows: .